Leafs or Leaves? Your Grammar Questions Answered!

Leafs or Leaves, what’s the difference? Nothing is more confusing than two words that sound exactly the same but are spelled differently.

Leafs and Leaves is a set of homonyms that aren’t seen very often but can leave you scratching your head when they do.

Homonyms, which are words that sound alike or are spelled alike, can be confusing, even to veteran writers.

Read on to find out the difference between these two words, and see some examples of how to use them successfully in a sentence.

Leafs vs Leaves

In the most basic form, the plural of a single foliage leaf is leaves. You can pluck a leaf from a tree, but the tree still has many leaves.

Leaves also has the secondary definition of ‘departing’.

So where does leafs come in? 

To understand leafs, we must first understand the singular form of the word, leaf. 

Leaf doesn’t always refer to the green growths on plants. The secondary definition of leaf is a sheet of paper. 

If you are taking one single piece of parchment from a sketchbook, it can be said that you’re taking a leaf of parchment.

 Someone who leafs through a book is someone rapidly turning the pages, usually only skimming what’s within.

  • Leaf- A single foliage growth on a plant, or a single piece of paper
  • Leaves- The plural of leaf, or to depart
  • Leafs- A verb meaning to rapidly turn pages while skimming for content. 

When to Use Leafs

You will use the word leafs on one occasion. 

As a verb, you can say that someone is leafing through a magazine, while as a noun, a single piece of paper is a leaf. Leafs is the present tense term for searching through a book or other collections of paper. 

When to Use Leaves

There are two different ways to use the word leaves.

The first way is as a verb for departing or going away from. ‘She leaves the room’.

The second way to use leaves is as the plural form of the green protuberances on most plants, a leaf. ‘In the fall, you make rake a pile of leaves‘.

Examples of Leafs in a Sentence

Sometimes it can be helpful to read a word in the context of a sentence, especially an unfamiliar word.

Here are a few examples of the word leafs in a sentence: 

The patient picks up and leafs through the magazine while waiting on the doctor.

She leafs through the stack of papers, looking for the right application.

Mary leafs through the book to find the example she had in mind.

Examples of Leaves in a Sentence

Leaves is a much more commonly used word than leafs, but just to differentiate, here are a few sentences that feature the word leaves:

He leaves the house unattended.

She leaves the red car behind.

Jon raked the leaves for Ms. Adams.

The leaves are falling from the trees.

How to Remember the Difference between Leafs and Leaves

Remembering the difference between leafs and leaves is made easier by the fact that leafs only has one definition.

Anytime you read about someone turning pages, you will use the word leafs.

Any other time you will use leaves. So the best way to remember the difference between the two, is memorizing the single circumstance leafs will be used in!

Test Yourself on Leafs vs Leaves With These Sentences 

Andy has lost his page in his book, so to find it, he _____ through the book looking for a familiar phrase.

When her little brother shook the tree, all the _____ fell on her.

Tony’s favorite fall activity was to jump in a huge pile of _____ that his father ______ behind for him.

Since she had an older copy of the textbook, she _____ through the book before every class to find the right page.

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About Jon Wright

Jon has worked in Digital Marketing for over 20 years, mainly for large enterprises. He now runs an eCommerce Agency that helps merchants build and grow their stores. He writes about SEO, CRO amongst other things.

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