Plural of “Scenario” – Scenarios or Scenarii or Scenaria?

Differentiating and converting words to singular and plural forms might be one of the first lessons we learn about English grammar. However, just because it’s the basics doesn’t mean it doesn’t get confusing. Like, what’s the plural of scenario?’ Is it simply scenarios’ or something else? Let’s see!

What Is the Plural of ‘Scenario’?

The plural of ‘scenario’ is simply ‘scenarios.’ ‘Scenario’ is a regular noun that follows the basic rule of plurality, which is adding ‘-s’ to the word. Thus, the plural of ‘scenario’ is ‘scenarios.’ ‘Scenarii’ and ‘scenaria’ are incorrect plural forms of ‘scenario.’

plural of scenario

We consider ‘scenario’ a regular noun. Regular nouns, when turning their singular form to plural, follow the basic rule of plurality which is adding ‘-s’ as the last letter of the word. Examples of these are ‘concert’ becoming ‘concerts,’ ‘towel’ becoming ‘towels,’ and even ‘scenario’ becoming ‘scenarios.’ All these are considered regular nouns.

While some think that the plural of ‘scenario’ is ‘scenarii’ or ‘scenaria,’ the two latter words are grammatically incorrect or nonstandard. Therefore, only ‘scenarios’ is the accepted and correct plural form of ‘scenario.’

Even data from dictionaries point to ‘scenarios’ as the plural form of ‘scenario.’ The data of the Corpus of Contemporary American English returns 3683 results of ‘scenarios’ while 0 of ‘scenarii’ and ‘scenaria.’ The data of the British National Corpus returns 216 results of ‘scenarios’ while 0 of ‘scenarii’ and ‘scenaria.’

Scenarios

‘Scenarios’ is the proper, grammatically correct, and most standard plural form of ‘scenario.’ ‘Scenario’ is an example of a standard noun that simply needs ‘-s’ at the end of the word to make it plural. Thus, ‘scenario’ in plural is ‘scenarios.’ No other plural form is accepted nor used.

The basic, most essential rule of turning singular nouns into plural nouns is the ‘add -s’ rule. The ‘add -s’ rule simply means adding ‘-s’ to the end of the word to make it plural. Take a look at some examples below.

  • File becomes Files
  • Chair becomes Chairs
  • Scenario becomes Scenarios

Below are examples of using scenarios’ in a sentence.

  1. I always play different scenarios in my head.
  2. It’s essential to plan for all possible scenarios.
  3. What are some of your favorite scenarios to imagine?
  4. Scenarios like this one are always life-changing.
  5. What are some silly scenarios you don’t expect to happen in a classroom?

Scenaria

‘Scenaria’ is a nonstandard and incorrect plural form of ‘scenario.’ The idea of the plural being ‘scenaria’ may come from taking the etymology of the word scenario either as Italian, Greek, or Latin. However, ‘scenaria’ as the plural of ‘scenario’ is grammatically incorrect in any context.

Below are examples of correct and incorrect use of ‘scenarios’ or ‘scenaria’ in a sentence.

  1. Incorrect: I can think of many scenaria right now?
  2. Correct: I can think of many scenarios right now
  3. Incorrect: What types of scenaria do you usually think of?
  4. Correct: What types of scenarios do you usually think of?
  5. Incorrect: I don’t like the scenaria playing in my head right now.
  6. Correct: I don’t like the scenarios playing in my head right now.
  7. Incorrect: We can think of so many scenaria around one topic.
  8. Correct: We can think of so many scenarios around one topic.
  9. Incorrect: Do scenaria of us together exist or did we meet by chance?
  10. Correct: Do scenarios of us together exist or did we meet by chance?

Scenarii

‘Scenarii’ is another nonstandard and rare plural form of ‘scenario.’ It is very rare, to the point that using it is considered not appropriate nor grammatically correct. The word is also not seen in most dictionaries and is generally not considered a proper word in the English language.

‘Scenarii’ may have come from borrowed Italian word ‘scenario.’ In Italian grammar, the pattern seems to be adding ‘-i’ to the end of the word, like how ‘concert’ becomes ‘concerti.’ However. it is essential to note that ‘scenarii’ in Italian is spelled ‘scenari’ and not ‘scenarii’ with two Is. Nonetheless, rather than using ‘scenarii,’ it’s best to use ‘scenarios’ in any given sentence or context.

Below are examples of correct and incorrect use of ‘scenarios’ or ‘scenarii’ in a sentence.

  1. Incorrect: All of the scenarii I imagined are coming true.
  2. Correct: All of the scenarios I imagined are coming true.
  3. Incorrect: There’s not such thing as perfect scenarii when talking about something else.
  4. Correct: There’s no such thing as perfect scenarios when talking about something else.
  5. Incorrect: I can’t imagine the possible scenarii that might happen after the matching fight.
  6. Correct: I can’t imagine the possible scenarios that might happen after the matching fight.
  7. Incorrect: Scenarii can have different outcomes in situations like this.
  8. Correct: Scenarios can have different outcomes in situations like this.
  9. Incorrect: Scenarii are formed by our imagination.
  10. Correct: Scenarios are formed by our imagination.
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Final Thoughts

‘Scenarios’ is the most common, most appropriate, most flexible plural form of ‘scenario.’ While some do confuse ‘scenarios’ with ‘scenarii’ and ‘scenaria,’ the two other words are not proper or appropriate especially in formal contexts. Thus, among all options, it’s best to use ‘scenarios.’