I see a phrase: on second thoughts. But I feel that it should be ‘on second thought’.

Because we usually say ‘This is the second time’ and do not say ‘This is the second times’.

  • It's always singular What are your thoughts on the matter? For your specific context, check out this chart, showing that BrE massively favours plural, but AmE is about equally split between singular/plural. May 30, 2019 at 13:28

2 Answers 2


On second thoughts and on second thought are established expressions that mean the same thing.

Both are used in situations in which a speaker is changing his/her mind about something, often a decision, expressed a few seconds earlier.

Google Books Ngram viewer finds the singular form twice as popular as the plural.


  • I was initially skeptical about the two forms both being "reasonably" common (that's certainly not my experience). But per my NGram link below the question, it turns out this is because there's quite a big split between AmE and BrE usage. May 30, 2019 at 13:30

This looks like a dialect difference to me. I have never heard “on second thoughts” and I am American. And the Corpus of Contemporary American English has very few hits for the plural:

On the other hand, the reverse is true of the British National Corpus:

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