If I have bought two products in a single online transaction, have I made one or two purchases?

I'd appreciate your help.

  • Is your question Do native speakers always use the term purchase precisely to refer to a single transaction between a buyer and a seller regardless of the number of items purchased, or do they sometimes refer to the items they've purchased as purchases regardless of whether they were bought "together" on the same transaction? Jan 26 '18 at 12:50
  • Almost any competent dictionary would tell you that the noun purchase can refer to the act of purchasing or to the thing purchased, and that would tell you that without further clarification from context, it would be impossible to say exactly what "These are my purchases" refers to, several transactions or several purchased items. Jan 26 '18 at 14:52
  • I was asking about "made one or two purchases," a verb phrase.
    – Apollyon
    Jan 26 '18 at 15:43
  • But purchases is a noun. It is the definition of the noun purchase which is relevant here. There is no way to tell, without further clarification, whether the two purchases you have "made" (I have made two purchases) are two transactions, or a single transaction involving two items. A native speaker could mean either. Jan 26 '18 at 18:54
  • One payment is for a purchase, regardless of the number of items in that purchase. So, to answer your question, a purchase is a single thing but can contain many items, in my opinion.
    – Lambie
    Jan 26 '18 at 19:30

It's a matter of context and interpretation.

Purchase is defined as the act of buying something.

But it's perfectly correct to speak about the purchase of two new suits where the word purchase refers to the act of buying itself and not to the number of articles bought.

So you can talk about the purchase (act of buying) of two products - singular.

Or you can refer to your recent purchases (the items themselves) - plural.

Suit yourself!

  • Do you mean that if I bought two suits, I could say "I made a purchase" or "I made two purchases"?
    – Apollyon
    Jan 26 '18 at 12:01
  • @Apollyon. Neither. You would say "I bought two suits". This is why Tᴚoɯɐuo asked you to clarify your question.
    – Andrew
    Jan 26 '18 at 14:21
  • I would say “I made two purchases” only if they were separate transactions. Oct 30 '19 at 6:00

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