11

I often hear people saying "due euro", even if "due euri" should be used.

Can anyone explain which one is correct, maybe adding a comment in reference to the differences in regional usage?

23

Depending on the language euro is (or not) an invariant noun.

The European Union specifies that, in official documents, euro should be pluralized as euro.

Spelling of the words "euro" and "cent" in official community languages as used in community legislative acts

Personally, I only rarely heard Italian people using euri (most often as a joke), and it just sounds wrong to say it.

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10

The plural of euro is euro; I think that was established by the Accademia della Crusca.

Sometimes, you hear the plural being used, and often it is done in a semi-serious tone; in other cases, it is done from people who are used to use the plural for currency names (which what normally happens; compare un dollaro with dieci dollari), and does the same for euro.

References

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4

I'd like to point out that neither Crusca nor EU can “decide” anything about a language. A language is shaped by its speakers, not by official authorities, no matter how important.

The Accademia della Crusca is a respected research body, whose opinion is very valuable, but just like physicists don't decide the laws of nature but study them, so modern linguists don't fix pronunciations or grammar rules but study language and its variations.

As for European Union, it may decide about the formal and stylistic characteristics of its documents and other official items (banknotes, say), but cannot – nor claims to – decide how people speak or write in everyday life. (And even when some autocrat or party insisted on imposing rules on language, they ultimate failed. History is full of commercial, literary, political made-up words and phrases that have taken a life of their own, independently of the intentions of the originators.)

This said, a majority of Italian speakers use euro as an invariant noun, while a minority advocate euri (and actually there is a precedent: euro as the noun of a wind has euri, in the generalised sense of “winds”, as its regular plural. For instance, «No; tu dal giovin animo / il timor freddo escludi; / gli Euri sonanti il portino / nelle letee paludi», Ludovico Savioli).

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    I disagree. EU has all the right (and, has to) to decide how its coin should be called in official documents, just as they decided its name in first place. Imagine the incredible series of problems they would face if that was not standardised. Plus they don't really say anything about spoken language, non official documents, and dialect usage. – nico Nov 8 '13 at 5:56
  • Nico, we are saying the same thing. If EU, as it can and should, only rules about its official documents and not about the language at large, its rulings are not relevant discussing Italian language, as we are doing here. – DaG Nov 8 '13 at 8:23
  • What I am saying is that the EU defines the standard and I think that we should follow that standard since euro is a neologism and they are the inventors of the term. Obviously the rule does not stop one from saying euri, but sure in this case does shape the language (i.e.: for this particular word it is not just the speakers that shape the language). Similarly, I could start saying Coca-Colà (stressing the last a) but since the Coca-Cola company has decided that its brand name is pronounced with a stress on the o that is how one should pronounce it. – nico Nov 8 '13 at 13:14
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    nico, I understand your opinion, but this is not how language works and evolves. History is full of commercial, literary, political made-up words and phrases that have taken a life of their own, independently of the intentions of the originators. Outside of restricted settings (official documents, corporate papers), there is no reason and no way to enforce a linguistic rule (and some attempts to do so have been tragic). – DaG Nov 8 '13 at 14:00
2

I second @kiamlaluno's answer. The Accademia della Crusca explains that the correct plural form of euro is euro (claiming that it was actually the EU decision from 1998 to make exceptions for the plural form of euro in English, German, and Italian).

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2

In the banknotes there is written "5 EURO / EYPΩ / EBPO" :-) (Actually the word is seen as an abbreviation of "europeo", so it should be invariable like "video". Then again, "euri" is widely used in spoken language, but not in written form)

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    Ok, I have to admit I have not been in Italy for a while, so maybe things have drastically changed, but "euri" is definitely NOT widely used in the spoken language. – nico Nov 8 '13 at 13:17
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    "widely" does not mean "by most people" :-) – mau Nov 8 '13 at 15:15
  • hmmmm... last time I checked it did :) – nico Nov 9 '13 at 9:01
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    The plural of euro is euros in many European languages, or sometimes even eurot, euroa, ewro, but that is not written on the banknote either. So I am not convinced by your argument. – Federico Poloni Dec 26 '15 at 13:18

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