Here are some sentences about someone's routine:

1) I go to a cafe twice a week.

2) I go to a restaurant three times a week

3) I read a book four times a week.

Should he/she use "plural" noun to talk about general stuff?

I'd like to know if these sentences are right and whether they convey the message of the speaker .

  • What do you mean by a "plural noun"? Cafes instead of a cafe? There's no need to, although you can if you'd like. The indefinite article simply refers to an unspecified noun, which may or many not be the same one on each occasion. There's nothing wrong with the sentences. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 4:28
  • @JasonBassford yes. I meant cafes instead of "a cafe" and books and restaurants instead of singular ones.
    – Masih K
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


There's no particular reason that plurals should be used here. The use of the indefinite article just means that the cafe, restaurant and book are unspecified, so they may or may not be the same one each time. You could use the plural, but in many cases it would be less natural.

You have to think here about what the basic sentence is. I go to a cafe is a fine sentence; it is then modified by twice a week. The number, or rather frequency, is changing the whole verb phrase, and has no impact on the validity of the grammatical number of anything in that phrase.


As always with articles, different options are valid and picking one over another is a matter of what exactly one wants to say.

For example:

  • I go to a cafe ... . [There is a cafe, which I didn't mention before, where I go ... ]
  • I go to cafe ... . [I have a habit of going to cafe, particular cafe is not important here, ...]
  • I go to cafes ... [I casually go to cafe, to different ones ...]

TL;DR: sentences are okay, you are not obliged to use plurals for the mere purpose of indicating that you are referencing things in general, just using no article will suffice.

  • 1
    In the examples, the middle one sounds unnatural. It's not a phrasing that I as a native speaker would ever use. The meaning you've applied to the second structure is covered by the version with an "a". Though I'll grant it is clearly an imprecise bit of language.
    – Jontia
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 11:26

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