Let's say a company has several business segments, including Hardware and Software. When I try to combine both these segments in a sentence, should it be "the Hardware and Software segment are ..." or "the Hardware and Software segments are ..." Or is it better if I write "the Hardware segment and the Software segment are ..."

2 Answers 2


It depends.

If the segment is called

Hardware and Software

meaning hardware and software are placed in a single segment, then it would be

The Hardware and Software segment of the company...
The Transportation and Distribution segment of the company...
The Sales and Marketing segment of the company...

If they are two different segments then

The Hardware and Software segments of the company...
The Hardware segment and the Software segment are...

are appropriate.


To add to the other answer: I would never use "segment" to refer to a unit in a company. "Division" (if fairly large) or "Group" are more common. "Unit", or "Section" are other options. "Department", although this is more often applied to government agencies.

More specialized: "Bureau" for groups like the CIA or the FBI. A media company might refer to their London or Paris "Desk" (at least back in the day when newspapers still had overseas units). "Team" can be used for fairly small, specialized groups with a particular focus (which may be part of a larger department). "Crew", collectively for all the people working on a ship, but also for the workers on a media project (as distinct from the "Cast" of actors), which in turn can be divided into smaller crews like "Camera & Lighting", "Art", "Costumes", etc.

There are other terms, so please don't think this a comprehensive list. In general, though, it's best to use the term that's in the official name of the unit, or the common term applied to that kind of business.

  • The word "segment" refers to a business line of the company, not a unit.
    – Dtan13
    Dec 23, 2016 at 2:31

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