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This kind of devices (have/has) become very popular among the young.

Which form of to have is used in cases like this?

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  • So does this question have a valid answer after all? Sep 18, 2019 at 5:03

2 Answers 2

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I have always wanted to do it your way too but unfortunately, in respect to grammar, it works the other way:

  • This (kind,type,sort) of thing
  • These (kinds,types,sorts) of things

A workaround for plural (formal) is:

  • Things of this (kind, type, sort)

A workaround for singular (formal) is:

  • A (an) thing of this (kind, type, sort)

In your case you'll be correct by saying:

  1. These kinds of devices have become popular among the young.
  2. Devices of this kind have become popular among the young.

The old pattern "these kind of things" comes from "kind" being an unmarked plural noun (like deer or folk). It is in use in PDE, but grammarians mark it as ungrammatical. This pattern was used by Shakespeare.

  • I like these kind of questions.

This new pattern "these kinds of things" was an adaptation based on singular/plural agreement.

In informal English "this kind of things" can often be met.

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    I've got it: either "this kind of thing" or "these kinds of things". But what can you say about the construction "These kind of things" that Andrew mentioned? I admit I never thought it would be a correct option.
    – Voli
    Nov 8, 2017 at 17:04
  • @Voli I've updated my answer. Nov 8, 2017 at 17:26
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    I fixed a couple of inconsequential typos but is "adoptation" supposed to be adoption or adaptation? Nov 8, 2017 at 18:07
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    @DavidRicherby perhaps it's a portmanteau? :)
    – Andrew
    Nov 8, 2017 at 19:13
  • @DavidRicherby I appreciate your help, thank you. I've corrected "adoptation" to "adaptation". Nov 9, 2017 at 4:12
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As written your example sentence is confusing because it's already incorrect. The pronoun needs to agree with the noun, and then the verb agrees with both:

This kind of device has become popular

These kind of devices have become popular

You might have thought that the pronoun "this" refers to kind, not devices, and should be singular. Actually "kind of devices" is a short noun phrase, and is considered singular or plural based on some defining noun in the phrase:

These kind of questions show how quirky English can be. (all the questions are of the same kind)

These kinds of questions show how quirky English can be. (multiple different kinds of questions)

Edit: As stangdon pointed out, with a noun phrase like "bag of oranges" the key noun is "bag" not "oranges". One of the nouns in the phrase will define whether the phrase is singular or plural:

These bags of oranges are heavy.

This bag of oranges is heavy.

This sort of protest is against regulations.

These varieties of fruit are tropical.

That being said, you wouldn't use a plural modifying noun with a singular noun. For example "this kinds of device" would be incorrect. In order to have multiple kinds, you need multiple devices.

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    That bit about short noun phrases doesn't really sound right to me. Would you say "This bag of oranges are heavy"? I absolutely wouldn't.
    – stangdon
    Nov 8, 2017 at 15:56
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    Well, I think that we have to look at what's the main noun in the phrase and what's part of a prepositional phrase. "This kind of flooper(s) is/are grombly" is a bit awkward because what we really mean is that the floopers themselves are grombly, not so much that the kind is grombly. Probably the best thing to do is leave everything in the singular.
    – stangdon
    Nov 8, 2017 at 17:40
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    I would never say "these kind of questions." Sounds stilted. I would say "this kind of question" which basically means "this question, and others of the same kind."
    – barbecue
    Nov 8, 2017 at 19:06
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    @SovereignSun Many famous people say all kinds of idiotic stuff, that proves nothing. "These kinds of things" does NOT mean "these things each divided into their own unique kind." That's ridiculous. "These kinds of things" means "These things and others of their kinds. Two or more things, and other things which are "of a kind with" them. Meaning like them.
    – barbecue
    Nov 9, 2017 at 13:42
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    Nobody talking about "kinds of things" has any of this nonsense in mind. They just want to express that there is a thing, and there are other things which are like that thing, and they're talking about those things. It's that simple.
    – barbecue
    Nov 9, 2017 at 14:00

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