If we have 3 'A' passes in an exam, We often say "I have 3As". But If we have 3 'S' passes, how to express it? I mean, is it correct to say "I have 3Ss"

If it's correct to say "I have 3Ss", how to pronounce double "s"?

  • Well I guess it goes like when you pronounce boxes. That's how I red your question. – M.A.R. Mar 27 '15 at 17:52
  • I don't know the phonetic alphabet but it'd be something like ess-ez. A soft S sound followed by a hard S sound. – Catija Mar 27 '15 at 17:54
  • be careful while speaking, nobody has 3! Better say, I have 3 passes of 'S' category. – Maulik V Mar 28 '15 at 4:35
  • 1
    Though most people would be more familiar with grades A, B, C, D, and F. S (satisfactory), along with other uncommon grades such as U, W, and so on, is possible. I think the OP essentially has two questions: a) Is "I have 3 Ss" a good sentence? and b) Assuming that it's good, how should we pronounce "3 Ss". (If "3 Ss" sounds too unfamiliar, this might help. How should we read this: How many iPhone 5ss do you have?) – Damkerng T. Mar 28 '15 at 8:45
  • @Catija It would be /ˈesɪz/ in IPA. – snailplane Aug 11 '15 at 16:34

If you're just talking about spoken language, the answer is simple. The equivalent of:

"I earned three As"


"I earned three Ss"

with "Ss" pronounced "esses", rhymes with "messes".

If you want to know the most idiomatic way to write it, that's slightly trickier.

First, you need to separate "3" from the grade. "I have 3As" does not mean the same thing as "I have 3 As." If you smush them together like that, it means you have an unspecified number of something designated "3A".

Second, there's the question of pluralizing the letter grades. The rule for single letters and acronyms or initialisms used to be to use an apostrophe:

How did you do on your S.A.T.'s? I got three S's.

These days, the apostrophe for acronyms and initialisms is on its way out. But many people would still use it for single letters, where it otherwise would look awkward. So in formal written English, you would most likely see:

I earned three S's.

again, pronounced "esses", rhymes with "guesses".

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