I found usages of both "beliefs" and "believes" and am confused while using a plural of 'belief'. So, I want to know which is the correct plural of 'belief'? Is it believes or beliefs?
Actually they are different.
Believe is a verb which is simply used for accepting the truth.
Example: He believes that all children are born with equal intelligence.
In above example the word "believes" is used as a third-person singular simple present.
Belief is a noun which is generally used for acceptance/confidence in truth, faith or trust.
Example: I can't do that. It's against my beliefs.
In above example, the word "beliefs" is used as plural of belief.
So, The difference is:
- Beliefs is the plural of a noun belief
- Believes is the use of a verb believe in third-person singular simple present
You have to use beliefs as a plural form of belief because believes is a third party singular form of the verb believe. The reason to use beliefs is to prevent any confusion. There are some more examples:
Nouns whose verbs look similar:
Belief - Beliefs, Proof - Proofs, Grief - Griefs
Words with two f's:
Cuff - Cuffs, Sheriff - Sheriffs, Plaintiff - Plaintiffs, Whiff - Whiffs, Staff - Staffs
- Other words:
Brief - Briefs, Reef - Reefs, Chief - Chiefs, Fife - Fifes, Roof - Roofs, Handkerchief - Handkerchiefs
Compare them with knives, wolves, lives, selves, wives, halves, etc.