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It is normally the case that a determinerless countable noun is in the plural if it functions as an object, as in "to change jobs," but the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English has the following sentence:

We need to reduce costs, so with this end in view, the company is switching supplier.

Someone said this is an error, and the correct form is "switching suppliers." But is this an accidental error, or is it intentional? If it is intentional, are there any other similar examples? Also, if "to switch supplier" and "to switch suppliers" are both correct, what makes them different from "to change jobs"?

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I have a hard time believing that it is intentional, but unfortunately I can't give you a technical explanation as to why. Either of the following two sentences sound fine to me as an American native-speaker:

  1. We need to reduce costs, so with this end in view, the company is switching suppliers.
  2. We need to reduce costs, so with this end in view, the company is switching its supplier.

The example you asked about, however, simply sounds off to me.

  • I agree that "the company is switching supplier" sounds incorrect to me. I am not sure if there is any case where a sigualr form could be used naturally in such a construction. – David Siegel Sep 18 at 22:29

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