The Simple Guide to Rails Pluralization

This is probably one of the simplest things, but something that I have to stop and ask myself over and over again:  when do I use singular or plural when using Rails generators?  I’ve been a long time fan and user of Ruby on Rails.  I’m also not a developer, so working with proper coding is actually foreign to me and I keep having to check on syntax and formatting.

Rails has easy to use generators to create the different elements of your application code.  The trick I always find is that because Rails also does automatic pluralization, you have to make sure to use singular and plural in different contexts.

Here’s my cheatsheet which is basically for my purposes since I keep having to use Evernote to find it.  There is a decent chance that someone else may need this info too on occasion.

If you’re stumbling on this and wondering “Why does Eric use generate instead of just using g because it seems unnecessarily long?”, that’s a great question.  I use the full word for folks who (like me) are not developers.

Note that these will do the same thing:

rails generate Scaffold Bookmark url:string description:text
rails g Scaffold Bookmark url:string description:text

Here’s my nifty “Eric is not a developer and keeps having to check this” checklist:

Generators that are Plural



rails generate controller Bookmarks index show



rails generate helper Bookmarks



rails generate migration AddPublicToBookmarks public:boolean


This is not a generator, but you have to use plural when coding resources:


resources :bookmarks, :only => [:index, :show]

Generators that are Singular



rails generate model Bookmark url:string



rails generate scaffold Bookmark url:string description:text


rails generate mailer UserMailer

Hopefully this is useful for others. I sure know I use it more than I would have thought.