# Pronunciation of fungi

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Another word that is pronounced inconsistently.

How do you pronounce it?

Fun-guy ?

Fun-ghee ?

Fun-jee ?

Fun-j-eye ?

Or some other way?

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I pronounce it as fun-guy though I think I hear people saying it as fun-jee more often

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fun-guy, never heard different.

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fung eye, for singular

fung ee, for plural is the most common way that Ive heard it pronounced.

(or was it the other way around????)

eitherway Im sure the difference is Plural/singular usage

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I prefer fun-guy.

And when we're eating mushrooms for dinner, "There's a fungus amoung us"

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Hmmm.. I think it may be the other way around like cactus and cacti, singular / plural respectively.

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I always thought it was fungus-singular --- fun-j-eye, fung-eye plural, moreso fung-eye. I've never heard any different.

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Recommendation: Look in the dictionary.

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I always thought it was fungus-singular --- fun-j-eye, fung-eye plural, moreso fung-eye. I've never heard any different.

fungus is singular but specific also, a Particular Fungus.

a variety of fung ee.

its covered with a certain fung eye.

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oh I'm just going to have to be different again and say fun-gee. No latin or greek word would ever be pronounced fun-guy, it sounds totally American however people just seem to pick which one they like, I don't think there's a consensus

and the singular is fungus! a type of fungus, a fungus, lots of fungi! You wouldn't say "a species of trees" or "a breed of dogs". And fun-j-eye is just silly

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so you dont consider the Plural of Fungus to be Fungi then?

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so you don`t consider the Plural of Fungus to be Fungi then?

yeah: one fungus, lots of fungi. sorry if that wasn't very clear

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one fungus, lots of fun-ghee

fun-guy is the american pronunciation of the plural

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In my biology class one was fungus and more were fun-guy. I don't know if this is specifically American though.

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Fungus is singular and the plural is fungi (pronounced fun-jeye). Usually with some exceptions, the hard (g) sound as in fungus, gate, goat and gum is pronounced when the (g) is followed by a, o and u. Usually with some exceptions, the soft (g) sound as in fungi, gentle, gin and gym is pronounced when the (g) is followed by e, i, and y. If there is ever a question as to the pronunciation of a word, one can always resort to looking it up in a dictionary or just googling pronunciation of the word and listen to the pronunciation of that word. Isn’t technology great?

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I think funguy is american and fungee is english.

Fungus is taken directly from latin, and therefore the plural is correctly fungee, although this does not suit the american accent, therefore the difference, i think.

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At university, my supervisor was a mycologist, who used 'funj-eye' as the plural of fungus. My edition of the Oxford English agrees with him, and I defer to both. A few years ago, I

heard the head of mycology at Kew using 'fun-ghee'. He should have known better! Scientific eminence does not mean authority in matters of English pronunciation. It is possible, though, that later editions of the OED, or other dictionaries, may have accepted 'fun-ghee' and 'fun-guy'. I don't think there are any real transatlantic issues here.

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According to my dictionary, it's either fun-jeye or fun-guy - no long e sounds to found.

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I wasn't aware that it was pronounced any other way than fun-guy until today. This was the first time I had ever heard it being pronounced as fun-ghee, and it was on the BBC no less, so naturally it peaked my curiosity.

To my mind fungi is originally a plural tense of fungus deriving from Latin, and thus pronounced the same as cacti and octopi. I have never heard these plurals pronounced cactee or octopee (unfortunately for the English language it is more common to hear cactuses and octopuses these days, or just using the singular as the plural).

The biological understanding and correct classification of fungi is a relatively recent development, and if the pronunciation has altered due to this, surely it would only apply when referring to the kingdom fungi? In which case I would surmise that pronunciation depends on context, fun-guy meaning plural and fun-ghee meaning the kingdom.

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To my mind fungi is originally a plural tense of fungus deriving from Latin, and thus pronounced the same as cacti and octopi. I have never heard these plurals pronounced cactee or octopee (unfortunately for the English language it is more common to hear cactuses and octopuses these days, or just using the singular as the plural).

Octopus is derived from Greek and the correct English plural (it is an English word, after all) is octopuses. (The Greek plural is chtapodia.)

As to original question, I think I say fun-guy in England but probably say foon-jee when living in Italy (even if speaking English!)

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I say "Funghee".

heard the head of mycology at Kew using 'fun-ghee'.

Nice to know I'm in good company.

Edited by StringJunky

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I say "Funghee".

Nice to know I'm in good company.

That is at least how classical Latin is traditionally pronounced in English, for example Corpus Christi is Kristee (I've never heard Krist-eye). But some words absorbed in English change to -eye, for example I have never heard Cacti as Kakteee. Likewise I have always said fun-guy, but I've never had to say it much. If you argue that it is the Latin plural pronounced as (we think) Latin was, then you could just as well argue that the word was originally Greek, so the plural should not only be cactoi but spelled kaktoi. I don't see that anyone can claim one is right and the others wrong. But please let's not get into really imponderable plurals such as rhinoceros (-> rhinocetera).

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But please let's not get into really imponderable plurals such as rhinoceros (-> rhinocetera).

I think in Latin the plural would be rhinocerotes. Transferring these terms into English do create weird pronunciations, it tends to be more uniform in Romance languages, but also in German, for example.

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I think in Latin the plural would be rhinocerotes. Transferring these terms into English do create weird pronunciations, it tends to be more uniform in Romance languages, but also in German, for example.

Yes, but the problem with that is the name derives from Greek (the rh representing rho, rhis rhinos, nose + keras, horn ) so the plural would be the Greek one, not Latin.

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Not necessarily, as the "modern" use is often derived from the latinized version of the greek words (and is more common, but not exclusive in taxonomic terms). But even then, isn't the Greek plural not also rhinocerotes? I.e. ῥῑνοκέρωτες ? I only learned Latin, so I am really only guessing (though I am fairly sure of keras-> kerata).

Edited by CharonY