In Taboo, one player has a word that they are trying to get their teammates to say (e.g. "Apple") within a short amount of time. I have often found that teammates will guess the plural word when they are trying to get the singular word (e.g. "Apples") or vice versa.

Some players I have played with have said that this is acceptable while others have said that the answer is not correct unless the correct form is guessed (e.g. after the team says "Apples", the player must tell them that them need to say the singular form of that word).

My version of Taboo (2012) doesn't say one way or the other which view is correct. So does the team get points if the word is singular but they guess plural?


I agree with @MazelTov that many people probably allow derivative forms as successful guesses, but I do not believe that was the intention of Taboo's designer. Some games may explicitly allow forms of the guess word, but Taboo is all about the WORD. It should be an exact match.

For reference, the rule for a successful guess is very concise when it refers to guessing the correct guess word:

  1. SCORING A POINT Each time a teammate shouts out the correct Guess word, the Clue-giver’s team scores a point. The guessed card remains on the easel. The Clue-giver quickly draws another card and puts it on the easel in front of the already-guessed card(s). The number of guessed cards in the easel is the number of points the Clue-giver earns for his or her team.

That said, some people find this pure interpretation to be frustrating in actual gameplay. With that in mind, I think allowing for singular/plural is probably more acceptable than other derivatives (mountain/mountainous), but anything other than the actual guess word is a house rule. Naturally, house rules are intended to improve the gaming experience, so it's important to announce such rules at the start of play.


This is generally a house rule, but generally the widely accepted answer is that any form of the word is correct. You can't use the variation to change the word, e.g. , but other than that, knock yourself out!

  • Do you have anything to back up the claim that "generally the widely accepted answer is..."? I'm trying to find the correct answer since, as I stated in the question, some players accept one answer and others accept another. Also, this answer seems to contradict itself saying that it's a houserule but that most people say it's the proper way to play. Jan 5 '15 at 18:35
  • @Thunderforge I guess by "correct" you mean "as written in the rules"? That's certainly a question you can ask, but arguably it's not really a useful one. I would instead look for the best rule. Clumsy's answer essentially says this: the strict rule as written is that it has to be the exact word, but in practice that's pretty frustrating, so if you can agree with the people you play with to allow variants, you may have a better game. The designer isn't going to come after you if you tweak the rules; all that matters is that everyone who's playing knows what the rules are.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 6 '15 at 22:25

What if someone says, "apple pie"? That contains "apple", and "apple" is what you're looking for.

In my view, and I agree with @Clumsy's answer here, they have said the word - they've just added to it.

If added-to editions of the term are disallowed, which I do not think the rules do, then the game would be nearly impossible to accurately play and score.

Now, if the word was "mouse", and someone says "mice" - that needs to be corrected. Because they aren't the same word + an add-on.

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