Some English words form plurals easily. Words like rock, tree, and riverbed can be made plural by adding an –s to the end. These words are regular plurals. Other times, pluralization is more complicated. Words wolf, shelf, and calf follow different rules. These words are irregular plurals. But how do we form plurals for these words? In these instances, the plural is formed by substituting –ve for the f before adding –s. Since every rule has its exceptions, there are still words ending in –lf that form regular plurals. They are rare, but they exist.
Calf as noun:
He hunted down the calf.
She toned her calf muscles.
Use of calves:
Use of calfs:
Calfs is not the correct way to spell this plural word. It should be spelled calves instead. The same rule applies to similarly spelled words—half becomes halves, wolf becomes wolves, and shelf becomes shelves. There are exceptions to every rule. For example, golf is pluralized into golfs, rather than golves; gulf likewise becomes gulfs. That being said, calf is not one of these exceptions.
Surgical techniques to enhance buttocks’ or calves’ volume consisted of placement of silicone implants below the gluteus maximus muscle in the buttocks or over the internal gemellus muscle in the calves. [Autologous Fat Transfer: Art, Science, and Clinical Practice, ed. Melvin Shiffman]
Calves or calfs:
Calves is the plural form of the word calf, which refers either to a baby animal or to a section of the leg below the knee. Calves is the only correct spelling of this word. Calfs is an incorrect spelling of this word, and is to be avoided. To help you remember how to pluralize calf, remember that calves shares a V with the word victory. Victory over this misspelling comes with the use of calves over calfs.