People often get confused between the words alumnus, alumni, alumna and alumnae. AP Style guide suggests writers to use each of these words correctly as these words are different from each other.
Continue reading the whole post to get out of the confusion between alumnus, alumni, alumna and alumnae.
What AP Style Suggests?
Alumnus is used to refer a graduate and it should be a male graduate. It is a singular noun. So, it means that this particular word is for a singular male graduate.
Alumnus means a male graduate
• My father is a Harvard alumnus.
The word ‘alumni’ is the plural of alumnus but it can also be used to refer a male and a female graduate group. At one side, alumnus means a male group of graduates. On the other side, it can also mean a group in which there are male as well as female graduates.
> Alumni cannot be used to refer only a group of female graduates.
Alumna is only used to refer a graduate who is, especially, a female. For example,
• My mother is a Harvard alumna.
The word ‘alumnae’ is only used for a female group who should be graduates of any institute.