Today a sentence hit my mind :

Processes are an integrated set of ....

vs :

Processes are integrated sets of ....

to an EnglishLanguageLearner the second one feels more valid, because we hear everyday a/an is not used with with(after) plural nouns. But what I am trying to say is about a single set containing of plural processes.


Thanks Everyone :-nice_smile

  • 2
    I'm not sure either choice is the best way of phrasing this. Please can you give the whole sentence you would like to say? As to a general answer to your question, yes you can use the pattern plural noun + plural verb + singular noun. In many cases, however, I find that it sounds awkward and would be better if phrased differently.
    – SteveES
    May 23, 2017 at 12:50
  • Thanks @SteveES here is the whole sentence : "Processes are an integrated set of activities that are done in order to achieve a single objective." I'll be happy if I learn a better way for saying this : ) May 23, 2017 at 12:55
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    I don't understand what you are trying to say, if you can explain it in more detail that would be helpful. Do you mean that each individual process is made up of a set of activities? Or that multiple processes are integrated into a set of activities? Or something else entirely?!
    – SteveES
    May 23, 2017 at 12:59
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    Just to double-check... Does your statement applies to all processes individually (rather than all processes together, or only some processes; would it be equally true to say a process is... about any process)? Also, do you mean 1 process = 1 set of activities; 1 process = multiple sets of activities; or 1 process = (at least) 1 set of activities + some other stuff?
    – SteveES
    May 23, 2017 at 13:34
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    I would advise being as precise and unambiguous as possible in technical documentation. I would therefore advise using "Each process is..." or "Each process consists of...", as this makes it clear that it applies to all processes, while also allowing you to clearly state what a single process involves. Saying "Processes are integrated sets..." leaves it ambiguous as to whether a single process contains 1 set, or contains multiple sets.
    – SteveES
    May 23, 2017 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


You should know if you wish to implicate a singular sense or a plural one into the word "Processes"

  • Processes are an integrated set of ... - You see the Processes as a single set (one group, union).
  • Processes are integrated sets of ... - You see Processes as multiple sets (groups, unions)

Having in mind your comment "But what I am trying to say is about a single set containing of plural processes." the first instance is correct.

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