Packet status have been changed


Packet status has been changed.

Since I was going to use the plural form of the word "status" here, I wrote have been. Am I correct?

  • It depends in part on whether status is being used as a singular noun or as a plural of statu. – Sven Yargs Aug 15 '16 at 5:40
  • It appears to me that you are using singular. "Packets", as you're using it, is functioning as an adjective, and "status" is the noun. – Hot Licks Aug 15 '16 at 12:04
  • @SvenYargs Or as the plural of status (which is less common, but still found). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 15 '16 at 16:32
  • "Am I correct?" Maybe, maybe not. Whether you're correct or not would depend on the intended meaning, which you didn't say anything about. What packet? Is it a packet or packets? What status? Is it a field in a packet? Is it the status of packet? Maybe you have several status fields in a single packet. Maybe you want to talk about several statuses of several packets. But then again, you didn't say anything much in the question, really. – Damkerng T. Dec 15 '16 at 9:47

The plural of "status" is "statuses". See, for instance, Merriam-Webster. (In Latin, the plural of "status" is just "status", pronounced with a long u, but English has adopted the regular English plural.)

So you want

Packet statuses have been changed.

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I disagree with the answer of tyty. Unless the status category has been changed. If it applies to several packets and their status it's plural, have been. If it applies to several status, it's plural, have been. Packets status seems always at least somehow plural.

As user2240097 says she uses plural have been is correct.

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  • 8
    Most English speakers will read "status" as being a singular form and will therefore will expect the verb that follows to be in singular form. If the poster means to indicate the plural form of status, he or she would do better to change status to statuses and use "have been changed" than to depend on the reader to conclude from the verb choice alone that the writer must be using status as the (very unusual) plural form of status. – Sven Yargs Aug 16 '16 at 3:32

Yes, you are correct if you are using plural. But, in your example, you are saying that there are many packets having one status only. If it is only one status, then it is singular.

So, the correct usage will be:

Packets status has been changed.

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  • This would need an apostrophe to indicate possession (after "packets"). – Nathan Tuggy Dec 15 '16 at 10:29
  • 2
    "Packets status has been changed" is, at best, awkward. Native speakers would invariably opt for "The status of packets has been changed," or "The statuses of packets have been changed." There is an argument for "Packet statuses have been changed", where "packet" is being used adjectivally, and hence is not marked for the plural. – Warren Ham Jan 18 '17 at 11:04

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