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Let's now explain the contrast between ethical and unethical act/acts

In the above sentence, should it be "act" or "acts"?

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  • 1
    Short answer: acts. Long answer: This isn't even a full sentence - there is no verb (or predicate). And there is no context for the sentence, nor for the question. Are you reading a paper or story? Answering a quiz? Is it your text or someone else's To get good answers, it is best to ask a good question. Mar 9 '18 at 11:03
  • @laugh Now edited.
    – Sasan
    Mar 9 '18 at 11:29
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In your sentence the plural should be used

The contrast between ethical and unethical acts.

since there are ethical acts and unethical acts as two different groups, otherwise it would be

The contrast between an ethical and an unethical act.

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  • But I wanted to shorten your last one. What would you do if you wanted not to repeat act in your last phrase?
    – Sasan
    Mar 9 '18 at 10:37
  • @user157323 - Then you could use Peter's first version, "the contrast between ethical and unethical acts". Or are you saying that you definitely want to use act and not acts, but you don't want to repeat act?
    – stangdon
    Mar 9 '18 at 15:52
  • @stangdon Yes, I want to use act without repeating it.
    – Sasan
    Mar 9 '18 at 16:17
  • @user157323 I don't understand you comment since "act" is used only once in the sentence.
    – Peter
    Mar 9 '18 at 16:57
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Depending on context you could drop the reference to acts altogether. "The contrast between ethical and unethical is that..." makes perfect sense.

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  • I need to have "act" in the sentence.
    – Sasan
    Mar 9 '18 at 10:43
  • That's why I said "depending on context". You didn't give any. Mar 9 '18 at 10:45

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