Even the ruling party has been calling for pauses in the increases. The minimum wage went up 16.4 percent last year and another 10.9 percent this year to reach 8,350 won under the government's promise to boost the hourly minimum wage to 10,000 won.

It's an excerpt from a news article, and I'm not sure about when to use singular/plural. Here, it says "pauses" and "increases" but would it be incorrect to write "pause" and "increase"?

Is the usage of singular/plural different from word to word and there's no specific rule applied to all kinds of nouns? Cause I'm always confused when should or shouldn't I use singular/plural nouns in a sentence.

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    How many pauses and how many increases are there? The number determines if you use the singular or the plural. Jun 30, 2019 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


This doesn't make sense, at least in this particular context It's reasonable to say there have been multiple increases (plural), and the ruling party wants to pause (singular) any future increases. They shouldn't have to pause it more than once.

Even the ruling party has been calling for a pause in the increases.

However, the writer may have just made a simple mistake. It happens.

It may make sense to use pauses (plural) when talking about a continuously increasing process, which has been paused multiple times. However, in this case increase should be singular.

The overall rate of inflation has been 0.5% over the past 20 years, but there have been multiple pauses, even reversals in this increase.

Lastly, if you are talking about multiple values, all of which have been increased on a regular basis, and had those increases paused multiple times, then it makes sense to use the plural for both pause and increase.

Parliament has legislated many increases to the standard wage indexes over the past 10 years, but the ruling party has been able to create multiple pauses to these increases.

Granted, this example is awkwardly written, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

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