1

It is okay to mix the grammatical number thus in a complex sentence? "Particles" are plural, but they have (based on the available data obtained using electron microscopy) a singular "part" and a singular "envelope":

In the intercellular space and on the surface of about 5% of the cells we detected spherical viral particles 100-120 nm in diameter with an electron-dense internal part and a distinct envelope with "spikes" about 10 nm in length.

Or should one to use a word like each to avoid this number mix-up:

In the intercellular space and on the surface of about 5% of the cells we detected spherical viral particles 100-120 nm in diameter, each with an electron-dense internal part and a distinct envelope with "spikes" about 10 nm in length.

  • 1
    The prepositional phrase is understood to apply to each member of the set of identified particles. Not a problem. If you used plurals (envelopes, internal parts) there would be an ambiguity -- does each particle have more than one internal part and more than one envelope? each is good. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 22 '16 at 15:50
3

"Each" makes it more clear, but anyone reading would understand that "each" is meant even if not stated. This is not a case comparable to "the cats is hungry".

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