3
  1. These figures have the same shape.
  2. These figures have the same shapes.

According to the google search, it seems that "the same shape" has a majority.

  1. These figures have an identical shape.
  2. These figures have identical shapes.

According to the google search, it seems that "identical shapes" has a majority.

I would like to know whether singular or plural is correct.

1
  • These figures have an identical shape.

Means that more than one figure have only one identical shape. Can be rephrased to "These figures are of identical shape".

  • These figures have identical shapes.

Could mean that more than one figure have more than one identical shape which is rather strange. Would be better to say, "Each pair of figures has an identical shape".

| improve this answer | |
0

These figures have the same shape.

These figures have the same shapes.

These can both be taken as being correct. Both use the definite article the, which can be applied to both singular and plural forms, unlike the indefinite article an used below.

In the first, each figure has the same shape as all the other figures. Each figure in the set has the same shape. Thus these figures have the same shape.

In the second, when you look at the shape of each figure, and look at the collection of shapes, then you find that all the shapes are the same. The shapes of the figures are all the same. Thus these figures have the same shapes.

These figures have an identical shape.

These figures have identical shapes.

In this case, the difference is in the use of the indefinite article an in the first example.

The indefinite article an (or a) is used only before singular forms. So like in the first case above using the definite article the, the sentences can be rewritten in various forms to convey the same meaning, but when using the indefinite article a / an only the singular form is correct.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.