Thursday, 30 July 2009

Q&A: Plural form of Grand Prix

Q: Intan from Indonesia asks, "What is the plural form of Grand Prix?"
A: Thank you, Intan, for your query. First, we must understand that Grand Prix /ˌɡrɒ̃n ˈpriː/ is derived from French, and is pronounced as in French. Macmillan says the plural is Grand Prixs, while both Oxford and Cambridge say Grands Prix. Merriam-Webster, on the other hand, says both Grands Prix and Grand Prix are acceptable. I've also seen Grand Prixes, but I think this is incorrect.
So, who's right? The beauty of the English language is such that they're all probably correct! Personally, since it's a French word, I'd stick to the French rule whereby the adjective takes the plural form, and words ending in -x stay the same: Grands Prix
"The duo were together for six years and ended up as constructors' championship runners-up in 2002 and 2003, while winning 10 grands prix and taking 17 pole positions." BBC Sport reporting on BMW's decision to quit F1, 29 July 2009

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