Correct Grammar: Fish or Fishes?

What is the correct grammar: Fish or Fishes?

Correct Grammar: Fish or Fishes?

Something that has struck me immediately while researching saltwater aquariums was the use of the word “fishes”. Not being the most grammatically correct user of words as it is, I was still surprised that the use of the word “fishes” outside of, “She fishes in the river” is actually a correct word to use in specific instances.


Fishes can be used when describing multiple fish. Not multiple fish of the same species, because that would deem the plural word of “fish” as being accurate, but multiple fish of different species. 

For Example: “Because of the territorial nature of most marine fishes, you must be cautious when choosing which species to place together in the same aquarium.” 

You may also hear the use of  fishes  in mob movies by the morbid phrase that indicates that someone has been murdered, by saying they “sleep with the fishes.”


Fishes’ (fishes with an apostrophe) can be used to describe a plural possession of fish such as ” The fishes’ eyes were blue.”


“I caught six fish in the lake yesterday.” This is OK to use when describing more than one fish. Fish is the plural of fish.

So now you know when to use the words fish and fishes when talking about your aquarium.

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