If you like a song, and you think it's catchy, could you say this?

Songs don't get much catchier than this.

My concern is the plural songs, when people say things similar to

Life can't/doesn't get much better (than this)"

Unless they're addressing more objects than one, the first noun stays singular.

My problems couldn't get any worse (than this)"

Here the person is talking more problems than one. So, my question is this, if you like a song, just one song, and you want phrase it like the those sentences i used in the examples, how would you put it? And, is "songs don't get much catchier than this" even when talking about one song, grammatically correct?

2 Answers 2


The problem here isn't really a singular/plural distinction, at least not just that, nor does it have anything particular to do with the construction you are asking about, but rather hinges on the fact that the word life as used in your sentence is a mass noun, thus uncountable. You can't pluralize mass nouns (or You can't pluralize a mass noun. See what I did there?).

When you say a sentence like

Songs don't get much catchier than this.

You are making a generic reference, because you mean songs in general, any song, as opposed to a specific reference, e.g. that song or Dylan's first song. Same goes for life. Since life in this sense is a noncount noun, you need to say

Life can't get much better than this.

Note that life can also be countable when it refers to living individuals or life when something functions. That is a different story.

When making a generic reference with a count noun, you have a number of options. Depending on the actual word and the sentence, some of these options don't sound as natural as others. But in general, you have the options to use

  • The + noun
  • plural noun (as in your sentence)
  • A(an) +noun

Here are some examples:

The tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Kids today tend to be very annoying.

A man has got to make a living.

With mass nouns, you just put the noun itself there, like your "life" sentence.

Oil burns easily.

  • 1
    "A man gotta make a living" is vernacular. More common would be "A man's gotta make a living" (a man has got to make a living) -- which is still vernacular, but less extreme.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 22:40

Yes, you can say

Songs don't get much catchier than this.

You are comparing

1) all (other) songs, that is, songs in general,


2) a particular song: this [song].

So your plural noun comes first in the sentence, and it's clearly plural in form. Your singular song, the just one song you say you're "talking about", is singular, and is represented by the singular pronoun this. It is on this point that a flaw in your logic is betrayed.

Note that it would arguably be ok to express the same idea with:

A song can't get much catchier than this [one/song].

In which case the singular subject, a song is used to refer to any song. It would likely be correctly interpreted because the alternative meaning, that a particular song cannot evolve to become catchier than the example song, is relatively unlikely. But this kind of ambiguity or change in meaning might occur in other examples, and that is probably one reason that the first example would be much more common.

In Life doesn't get better than this, life, singular in form, and uncountable, as L. Moneta states in their answer, refers to all of something (all human life, perhaps) or to life in general. In that utterance, someone is comparing [life in general] to [a particular life or piece or segment of a life], so that the second item being compared is still a singular thing.

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