Agriculture Communication


| Share

Write the Right Word: Alumnus, Alumna, Alumni, Oh My!

Do you get confused when referring to someone who attended NDSU or other educational institution?

I don’t know of an easy way to remember which word to use, so here is a cheat sheet for you:

  • Alumnus – Use it when referring to a man who attended a school.
  • Alumna – This refers to a woman who attended a school.
  • Alumnae – Use this when talking about more than one woman who attended a school.
  • Alumni – This refers to more than one man who attended a school. You also use this when talking about a group of men and women who attended a school.

“Alum” is an informal way to refer to a man or woman who attended a school. The other words are preferable. If you do use “alum,” make sure your meaning is clear because alum also is a chemical compound.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

Filed under: Written Communication
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.