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Are these sentences both correct?

What is the plural of boy?

What is the plural to boy?

Are they interchangeable?

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    Please don't use the backslash when listing alternatives; instead, use the forward slash (/).
    – user3395
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 13:49
  • Are you asking with regard to a certain version of English?
    – Davo
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 14:12

2 Answers 2

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It’s always the plural of something.

What is the plural of “boy”?

To make the plural of "dog" you add the plural ending -s.

“Are” is the second person plural of the verb “to be”.

The word “teeth” is an irregular plural of the noun “tooth”.

What's the plural of “tooth”?

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  • But I have seen the sentence: "there is no singular to audience." Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 9:32
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    @Kumarsadhu - You may have seen this, but it’s incorrect. English has a very large number of speakers as a non-native language, and as such, mistakes are extremely common. Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 9:55
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    @Kumar sadhu- That is not normal English. You could get away with 'for', but 'of' is preferred.
    – amI
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 9:57
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"there is no singular to audience."

This is semantically incorrect - audience is a singular word, the plural of which is audiences - but syntactically, it's fine. If we instead pick a word like sheep, where the same word stands for one or many, then there is no plural to sheep is equally as correct as there is no plural of sheep.

The use of the different prepositions (of, to) gives different inflections to the adjective (singular). We can see this if we add explicit nouns:

There is no plural form of 'sheep'

There is no plural equivalent to 'sheep'

This holds while we are saying there is no.... In all the examples so far provided, we are making the adjectives plural or singular stand in for nouns. If we are asking about the existence of a plural, then form makes sense as the noun, but so might equivalent or aspect, both of which will be happy with a to.

In the examples provided by Andrew Tobilko, this would not hold. of is the only valid choice in those examples.

Generally, to can be used to relate qualities to objects. For example, it's natural and correct to say there is no flavour to this food - especially if you are a visitor to Britain.

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    +1 for the joke in the final paragraph.
    – fred2
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 17:05
  • Note that 'equivalent' is an adjective in a reduced relative phrase: "There is no plural [that is] equivalent to 'sheep'." If it was parsed as a noun (with 'plural' as adjective) then 'to' is just as clunky as "There is no plural to 'sheep'."
    – amI
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 18:17
  • An excellent and germane clarification, thank you!
    – FSCKur
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 18:21

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