Plurals and hyphens are some of the more common rules you’ll come across in English, and they can be difficult to wrap your head around. Today, we’ll be making a how-to guide on how to use “how to” and its plural forms.
How To’s Or How Tos – What Is The Plural Of How To?
The plural of “how to” is “how to’s,” though it is rarely used anymore. In fact, you will rarely need to use the plural for “how to.” “How to” needs to be hyphenated for it to work with a plural form, meaning that the plural becomes “how-tos.” Without the hyphen, you’re literally just telling someone how to do something.
Is How To Or How-To Correct – Should “How To” Be Hyphenated?
“How-to” is the correct way to use the word, and the hyphen is necessary. According to AP rules, you’re supposed to hyphenate words when they have a direct link that modifies a noun. Oftentimes, nouns that accompany “how-to” are things like “how-to guides,” “how-to videos,” or “how-to articles.”
You can, however, say “how to” without the hyphen in certain scenarios. However, the only time you’ll be able to say it is when you’re saying “how to do something” or “how to help” or something like that. In these cases, the words “how” and “to” act independently from each other.
Does The Rule Also Apply To How-Tos And How-To’s?
As we’ve mentioned above, the rule for plurals only applies when you include the hyphen. Typically, “how-tos” is the plural of “how-to,” though many people still struggle with that. Instead of worrying too much about using the plural form, you should instead say something like “how-to guides,” which still includes the plural but doesn’t have to worry much about pluralizing “how-to.”
Alternatively, “how-to’s” is more commonly used as a possessive adjective. However, “how-to” isn’t written in a manner that needs to be possessive, so the likelihood you’ll ever need to write “how-to’s” in any article is very slim. To clarify, “how-to’s” is not the plural form, just the singular possessive. Use “how-tos” or “how-to guides” as the plural.
5 Examples Of How To Use “How Tos” In A Sentence
It should be pretty obvious that “how tos” is incorrect and therefore can’t be used in a sentence. However, we’ll cover it with a hyphen so you can understand how you might get it to work. Instead of “how tos,” let’s look at “how-tos” as the plural form and see what the examples look like.
- We’ve got plenty of how-tos available to read through.
- You can find the how-tos on our blog page.
- I can’t find any how-tos that help my situation.
- Where are the how-tos?
- Has she got any how-tos that’ll help me get it?
Each of these refers to multiple “how-tos,” which is why we say it in the plural form. It’s the only acceptable way to use the plural form of “how-to.”
5 Examples Of How To Use “How To’s” In A Sentence
So, what about “how to’s?” Again, it’s not correct to use this, so you should avoid it. Even saying it with a hyphen isn’t much use anymore. “How-to’s” used to be a plural form back when apostrophes were more common for plurals, but those days have passed now. Instead, unless you’ve got a character or thing that is names “how-to,” then you’ll never need to refer to “how-to’s” as it is a possessive adjective.
Alternatives To How To’s Or How Tos
We’ve cleared up most of the confusion now, and hopefully, things are a lot easier for you to understand. However, if you’re still struggling, we’ve got the best solution for you! There’s a way to avoid the problems completely and stop worrying about whether you should use apostrophes or hyphens or something else. Find an alternative! Let’s look at a few of the best ones for saying “how-to.”
This alternative removes the need for saying “how-to” entirely. Instead, you can just refer to a “guide” for help.
Like “guide,” you can use a “method” to help you with your problem.
Another good alternative that works the same as “guide” and “method.” You can pluralize all three of these words with ease by just adding an “s” to the end of each.