Difference Between Alumni and Alumnus

Main Difference – Alumni vs Alumnus

Alumni and alumnus are two words that refer to those who were students at a particular school, college, or university. Many people misuse the term alumni when they refer to themselves as an alumni of a certain college or university. However, alumni cannot be used in the singular form. Alumni is a plural form whereas alumnus is the singular form. So, you should always use alumnus if you are referring to yourself. The main difference between alumni and alumnus is that alumni should be used with plural nouns and alumnus should be used with singular nouns.

This article explains, 

1. The Grammar, Meaning and Usage of the Word Alumni

2. The Grammar, Meaning and Usage of the Word Alumnus 

3. Difference Between Alumni and AlumnusDifference Between Alumni and Alumnus - Comparison Summary

Alumni – Meaning and Usage

Alumni is derived from Latin. Alumni is the plural form of alumnus. Alumni refers to a group of people of former students or graduates. Alumni can refer to both male and female students. However, there is a separate plural term alumnae which specifically refers to female students although this term is only popular among older female graduates. Thus, alumni can refer to both genders.

Given below are some example sentences which contain the term alumni.

The magazine contained articles by alumni.

Her in-laws are alumni of the Harvard University. 

The alumni association of the Princeton University organized a fundraiser.

Difference Between Alumni and Alumnus

Alumnus – Meaning and Usage

Alumnus is the singular form of alumni. Traditionally, this was used to refer to only male students. The term alumna was the corresponding female term. However, in a general context, alumnus can refer to both male and female students.

My brother is an alumnus of the Monash University.

Each alumnus should pay the membership before the 5th of August.

He was so proud that his son was an alumnus of Oxford University.

The shortened version alum and its plural form alums first came to use in the 19th century. Although alum was initially viewed as highly or informal, it is increasing in use as a gender-neutral alternative.

Main Difference - Alumni vs Alumnus

Ralph Bunche is an alumnus of Jefferson High School.

Difference Between Alumni and Alumnus

  • Alumni and Alumnus both refer to former students or graduates of a college, university or school. 
  • Alumnus is the singular form and refers especially to male students.
  • Alumni is the plural form of alumnus.
  • Alumna refers to a female graduate or former student. 
  • Alumnae is the plural form of alumna.

Image Courtesy:

“Alumni House, College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia, USA – 2008-04-23)” By Jrcla2 – Own work, (Public Domain) via  

“Ralph Bunche – 1963 March on Washington” By U.S. Information Agency. – originally posted to Flickr as Public Domain: Ralph Bunche at 1963 March on Washington (NARA) uploaded by David Shapinsky via  

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

Related pages

what happens during cytokinesis in animal cellsmeaning of formal and informal letternonpolar definitionfructose formulawhat is understatement in literaturedifference between allegory and metaphordifference between amoebic dysentery and bacillary dysenterychemical properties of cycloalkanesdifference cantonese mandarindifference between hunan and szechuanflair flarehow are coyotes and wolves alikecondensation polymerisationpathetic fallacy meaningwhat is the difference between fluorescence and phosphorescencewool vs fleecepredicate nominative and predicate adjective examplesdeceleration physics3 types of heterogeneous mixturesdefine subject and predicatecofactor and coenzymesmooth endoplasmic reticulum structuredifference between ldl and hdlan example of a compound complex sentenceclimax exampleselectrical properties of conductors and insulatorssushi vs sashimi vs nigiriwhat is the difference between pure substances and mixturespeninsular riverwhat is coordination and subordinationleukopenia signs and symptomsdefinition of rhythm in literaturedifference canoe and kayakhow to calculate modulus of rigiditywhat does nemesis meanfood grains and pulsesendocytosis vs exocytosischloroplast and chlorophyllbinary fission yeastcelpip test centerspositive and normative economics examplesdistinguish between distance and displacementdifference between manic and hypomanic episodeconceits in poetrycompare conductors and insulatorsdifference between alpacas and llamassense and antisense dna strandsdeuterostomes vs protostomesdifference between comparative and absolute advantagerecognizing redox reactionsmagnets and electromagnetismhomophones for stationarywhat is the meaning of enculturationalpha and beta amylasestereotyping and prejudicedistinguish between price elasticity and income elasticity of demanddefinition of agonist muscleexamples of volatile liquidsaccommodation and assimilation exampleswhat are the inner planets and outer planetssentence of bewilderedprehistoric definitioncognac armagnac differencedifference between digital and analog multimeterdifference between acronym and abbreviationwhat is the difference between archaebacteria and bacteriahallucination delusiondisadvantages of selective breedingwhat is consonance and assonancewhat is the difference between a shark and a dolphindefine invention and innovationis a cougar a pantherpossessive adjectives and possessive pronounsdefine ethanoic acidtesting for ammonium ionspolarization of light meaningwhich is better poly or monounsaturated fatsnon polar bond definition