Skip to Content

Memorandums Vs. Memoranda: Which Should You Use in Writing?

Memorandums Vs. Memoranda: Which Should You Use in Writing?

Memorandums vs. memoranda, which is the correct plural for memorandum? You will be surprised by the number of people who do not know the correct answer to this question. This article is perfect for you if you do not know the answer.

A memorandum is a written proposal or reminder for communication in a business. The plural form for memorandum is either memorandums or memoranda. Hence, both words are correct plural forms. However, "memoranda" is the most common yet the most misused. Many people use it as a singular word form.

Many people intermix the words "memoranda" and "memorandums" as the dictionary recognizes both as plurals for "memorandum." However, there is more to discuss when it comes to these words. Read on to discover their meanings and definitions and the correct application in writing.

board marketing group

Definitions Of Memorandums And Memoranda

Linguists use "memorandums" and "memoranda" as plurals for "memorandum. However, the definitions below will shed more light on these words.

Definition of Memorandums

"Memorandums" is the plural for memorandum. A memorandum is a short written note that serves as a reminder. Refer to this word when describing a written record or communication in a business facility, like an office. In a sentence, "Your manager sent out memorandums for the meeting on Monday morning."

Secondary definitions of memorandums

In the legal field, memorandums are short documents outlining the terms of an agreement. Memorandums are usually drafts leading to a formal or detailed contract. Thus, they are known as memorandums of understanding. For example, in a sentence, "The judge reviewed the memorandums of understanding before issuing a guilty judgment."

Another definition for memorandums is "a writing submitted to a court by a party arguing an aspect of a case." For example, "The court ordered the defense lawyer to produce the memorandums for reviewing."

In business, memorandums are statements the consignors make about shipments of goods that the business may return. For example, in a sentence, "The memorandums are faulty because they do not state the date when the shipment will arrive." Memoranda comes from the Latin Verb "Memorare," meaning "to remember."

Definition of Memoranda

Memoranda is an alternative plural form for memorandum. Memoranda are communications that contain directive, advisory, or informative data. For instance, "The memoranda called particular attention to the plight of the black community in conservative constituencies."

Also, memoranda are informal diplomatic communication. For example, "The political party issued memoranda ahead of the elections." Another definition for memoranda is brief communication written for interoffice circulation. For example, in a sentence, "The firm CEO sent memoranda to all employees in various departments."

Memorandums vs Memoranda: Which One Should You Use?

Linguists warn against using memoranda as a singular form for the word "memorandum." Additionally, they condemn the use of plural "memorandas." Besides this, the words "memoranda" and "memorandums" are equally frequently applied as alternative plural forms for "memorandum." Therefore, it is up to you to decide which one you wish to apply in writing.

Traditionally, most people used memoranda as the preferred plural for "memorandum." For this reason, many assume that "memorandums" is incorrect. However, a writer like Shakespeare used "memorandums" in his composition (Henry IV Act 3, Scene II).

At the moment, memorandums predominated as the plural for a memorandum. However, it would be best if you were wary about your audience when using this word in sentences. For instance, some audiences prefer memoranda over memorandums and vice versa.

You will also realize that some dictionaries still do not recognize "memorandums" as a grammatically correct plural form for "memorandum." If you only follow a certain dictionary, it can get confusing with this word.

How To Properly Use Memorandums And Memoranda In A Sentence

Using a word in a sentence is easy once you know its meaning. However, understanding the contexts in which you can use the words and where to place them in sentences will also help greatly.

Make sure you are keen on words like "memoranda" and "memorandums" because they are plural word forms. Here are some guidelines to help you construct sentences with "memorandums" and "memoranda."

How And When To Use Memorandums

The word "memorandums" is a noun. Nouns are words that provide a name to a place, object, person, or abstract idea or thought. According to English grammar rules, nouns either indicate sentence subjects or objects indicating verbs or other objects.

As a subject, the word "memorandums" should indicate the word that is "doing" or "being something." For example, "The lawyer submitted several memorandums after the court ordered him to do so."

As the object, the word "memorandums" should be the recipient of an action. For example, "Law students are taught how to write memorandums and turn them into full case briefs.'

How And When To Use Memoranda

Use this word when referring to the plural of a memorandum, a written reminder, or a document for communication in business offices. Like "memorandums," this word is a plural noun. Therefore, the rules for using it in sentences do not change. 

Some nouns in English look like singular words but have plural meanings. Memoranda is an example of such words. Make sure you always remember this fact when using the word "memoranda" in sentences.

Here are some sentences to emphasize that:

  • The company CEO has issued memoranda to all employees. (CORRECT)
  • The company CEO has issued a memoranda to all employees. (INCORRECT)

Do you know that many people mistake and write "memorandas" as the plural for "memoranda?" Well, this is INCORRECT because memoranda is a plural whose singular form is "memorandum."

afro men thinking

Examples Of Memorandums And Memoranda Use In Sentences

The details above on how and when to use the words "memoranda" and "memorandums" should be enough to guide you through writing sentences using these words. However, they may be slightly complex if you are new to these words and do not understand English grammar basics. For these reasons, we have prepared the sentence examples below;

Example sentences of memorandums

  1. The attorney signed a series of memorandums of agreements to advance the case and implement the programs.
  2. The press leaked internal memorandums from the former president's office that caused an uproar among the republicans.
  3. I have read so many memorandums presented to this court and am more confused than I was at the beginning of the research.
  4. The memorandums indicate the date of the meetings and the expected arrival times for all attendees.
  5. The court subpoenaed the company to produce all its memorandums and financial documents during the court proceedings for the lawsuit.

Example sentence of memoranda

  1. The British Museum displays a collection of Shakespeare's diaries, correspondence, and memoranda.
  2. The court indicted Alec Baldwin because of the evidence found in the memoranda he issued months after the incident.
  3. As the King's right-hand person, Martin writes all the memoranda to the staff and other correspondence from the royal family.
  4. The nature of the memoranda indicated the tension among the company's leadership over the newly filed lawsuit.
  5. All law students are taught the procedure for writing and presenting memoranda of agreements to the parties involved.

Conclusion

Many English words have plural forms with multiple spellings. An example of such words is "memorandum," whose plural form spellings are "memoranda" and "memorandums." Thus, you can use both spellings in writing because they are correct.

However, most people prefer "memoranda" and not "memorandums" because it is the most commonly used by the media, writers, and law practitioners. Now that you know you have an idea about memorandums vs memoranda, which one do you prefer to use?