‘Leafs’ vs ‘Leaves’ (Differences, Uses, and Examples!)

Confused about when to use “leafs” and “leaves”? You’re not alone! Despite their similar spellings and sounds, these words carry distinct meanings that can trip up even the most seasoned writers.

Whether you’re talking about the iconic Toronto hockey team or the foliage on your favorite tree, understanding the difference between “leafs” and “leaves” is crucial for clear and accurate communication.



“Leafs” is the plural form of “leaf” when referring to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a professional ice hockey team. It is a proper noun and does not follow the standard English pluralization rules.

Example Sentences:

  • The Leafs won their game last night, much to the delight of their fans.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most storied franchises in the NHL.



According to the dictionary, “leaves” is the plural form of “leaf,” referring to the flat, typically green parts of a plant that are attached to the stem and are responsible for photosynthesis.

Example Sentences:

  • In the fall, the leaves change color and create a beautiful landscape.
  • She gathered the fallen leaves into a pile for composting.

Understanding the difference between “leafs” and “leaves” will help you use these words correctly, ensuring your writing is precise and professional.

Related Here is a look at when to use Tieing or Tying.

Common Misuses of ‘Leafs’ and ‘Leaves’

Despite their clear definitions, “leafs” and “leaves” are often used incorrectly. Here are three examples of common misuses:


The tree’s leafs turned red in autumn.

Correction: The tree’s leaves turned red in autumn.

Explanation: “Leaves” is the correct word because it refers to the plural form of the plant part.


She loves the sound of walking on crunchy leafs.

Correction: She loves the sound of walking on crunchy leaves.

Explanation: “Leaves” is the correct word here because it refers to multiple leaves on the ground.


The team known as the Toronto Maple Leaves has a long history.

Correction: The team known as the Toronto Maple Leafs has a long history.

Explanation: “Leafs” is the correct word because it is the proper noun referring to the hockey team.

Mnemonic Tips for Remembering the Difference Between “Leafs” and “Leaves”

Using mnemonics can help you remember the distinct meanings and uses of “leafs” and “leaves.”

Here are some effective mnemonic tips to keep these words straight:


Mnemonic: Think “Hockey Team”

Associate “Leafs” with the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. This connection helps you remember that “Leafs” is used exclusively as a proper noun for the team.

Example: “The Leafs play in the NHL.”

Visual Mnemonic:

Picture the Toronto Maple Leafs logo when thinking of “Leafs.” This image reinforces its use as the name of the hockey team.

Related Here is a look at when to use Aid or Aide.


Mnemonic: Think “Plants”

Remember that “leaves” is the plural of “leaf” for plants. This helps you recall that “leaves” is used for the green parts of plants.

Example: “The leaves on the tree are green.”

Visual Mnemonic:

Picture a tree with many leaves. Linking “leaves” to this image reinforces its correct usage for plant foliage.

Combined Mnemonic – Leafs vs. Leaves:

“The Leafs play hockey, the leaves grow on trees.”

This mnemonic helps you remember that “Leafs” refers to the hockey team, while “leaves” pertains to the plural form of the plant part.

By using these mnemonics, you can more easily distinguish between “leafs” and “leaves,” ensuring accurate and confident usage in your writing and speech.

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