Difference Between Crisis and Crises

Homophones and plural forms of the same word are often confusing. Homophones sound the same but are a whole new world with different meanings and usage.

Alhough they have minute differences when spoken in a word, the usage, and form of the word change completely when the word is popularized.

Two such words are crisis and crises. Although they look very similar, yet they are very different.

Crisis vs Crises

The main difference between crisis and crises is that crisis is the singular form whereas crises are the plural form. Moreover, in daily life, the usage of crisis is more because people aren’t often sure whether crises are plural or not. The term crisis came into use long ago from a Greek word. But, the term crises came from the word ‘crisis.’

Crisis vs Crises

Crises refer to many severe conditions and situations. Derived from the root word ‘crisis,’ crises don’t find much application in modern life.

It’s the plural form of the root word ‘crisis’ and is used less frequently. Generally, ‘crises’ are used by reporters during their news reporting. The term finds usage as a noun.

Comparison Table Between Crisis and Crises

Parameters of ComparisonCrisisCrises
FormThe crisis is used both as a noun and as an adjective. Crises are used only as a noun.
UseThe crisis is used to indicate a serious and dangerous event. Crises are used to indicate consequently occurring disastrous events.
FrequencyThe crisis is used frequently in daily life.Crises are less used and are less frequent.
VersionThe crisis is the singular form.Crises are the plural form.
ExampleThe current economic crisis in India is hard to recover from.The repeated natural calamities have landed the country in unexpected crises.

What is Crisis?

The term “crisis” is used as a noun and adjective. It refers to a severe difficult situation that can’t be dealt with without proper attention and precautions.

However, there are other meanings and definitions for the crisis. Sometimes, the ‘crisis’ indicates a turning point in any acute disease, irrespective of whether it’s for the good or bad.

Sometimes, the term ‘crisis’ also refers to a paroxysmal attack on an individual which leads to distress and pain. It is used to symbolize an event in a person’s life that affects him emotionally.

Beyond these commonly used definitions, the crisis also means a crucial time in a drama or situation where decision-making decides the upcoming future. The term ‘crisis’ also refers to a critical phase.

The usage of this term took place for the first time in the 15th century. Moreover, with time, the term has undergone a semantic change.

Earlier, the term was used to indicate a crossroad or decisive point in any situation. However, today, it’s used to indicate a dangerous situation.

This term is passed down to the Middle English people from Latin, who further lend it from the Greek people.

What is Crises?

The term “crises” is used as a plural form of the word ‘crisis.’ It refers to a continuously occurring sequence of unfavorable and dangerous events.

Crises’ may be referred to as events that occur unexpectedly, lead to uncertainty and chaos in the environment, and can be a potential threat to the surrounding.

Crises generally refer to a series of crises that occur consecutively. They can also refer to a negative turn of events in any field, i.e., economic, environmental, political, and social. 

Crises, situations, and events come with no warning. It’s perhaps the testing time in any situation. The word might seem confusing in the way it is turned into plural.

The root word of crisis i.e., crisis ends with the consonant ‘s.’ Words that have Greek origin are made plural by the addition of the consonant ‘s.’

However, in the case of the term ‘crisis,’ which is a Greek word, the consonant is already present in the root word. Thus, the plural form of crisis comes out as crisis. 

The term is used as a noun. For example, The country has been facing many serious crises for the last five years.

Here, the usage of the ‘crisis’ in place ‘crises’ would have been incorrect because the sentence implies various serious issues the country has been dealing with for a long time. The usage of this term is not done frequently.

Main Differences Between Crisis and Crises

  1. The crisis is the singular form of usage. On the other hand, crises are the plural form of ‘crisis.’
  2. A crisis indicates a single dangerous or serious event. But, crises refer to many such threatening events.
  3. The use of crisis is done both as a noun and as an adjective. On the contrary, the usage of crises is only seen as a noun.
  4. The crisis is frequently used in day-to-day life. But, crises are used by news reporters and aren’t used in day-to-day life.
  5. The term ‘crisis’ first finds its usage in the fifteenth century. But, the term ‘crises’ evolved out of the crisis as its root word.
Difference Between Crisis and Crises

Conclusion

The dictionary has many such words that are often confusing. These singular and plural forms of the word have the same meaning. However, they slightly differ in the way and frequency they are used.

For correct usage, one needs to know the exact difference between these confusing words. It’s the difference in a form that makes the usage of words different.

The difference becomes noticeably visible when the words are used in sentences.

Thus, besides the differences, an individual should also look for sentences that will help in getting a clearer picture of the difference.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1993-98947-000
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/bm.2014.12
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