I looked up the dictionary and it seems there's no plural form for the noun. However, some people use the word infrastructure with an s at the end. Is there a reason for doing this or is it just a mistake?


NIC governments continue to focus the financial and entrepreneurial resources of the private sector to realize national visions, learn new competencies and build advanced infrastructures.

  • "NIC" is "newly-industrialised country", from referenced book page vi.
    – jonathanjo
    Aug 19, 2019 at 17:24
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 19, 2019 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


A noted in comments, "infrastructure" is mostly used uncountably, but there seems no reason to not use it countably if required.

In your example sentence the writers are speaking about multiple countries doing things in each country:

NIC governments ... national visions ... new competencies ... advanced infrastructures.

Here it seems natural to think of the infrastructure of country A as a countably separate thing from the infrastructure of country B.

In the same work (p183) they speak of "traditional infrastructures, such as transportation and communications", seeming to regard each as a separate thing; for which countable use seems perfectly reasonable.

The OED gives an example of clearly countable "infrastructure", though no plural examples:

1971 J. Spencer Eng. Lang. W. Afr. 31 "A very complex infrastructure of scores of vernacular languages."

"Structure" is obviously countable, and the OED gives plural examples for "superstructure":

1980 B. W. Aldiss Life in West 5 "Our lives in the twentieth century are fortified by elaborate cultural superstructures."

In passing, it is common for uncountable nouns to become countable in special circumstances. For example in a restaurant you may well hear: "Two coffees, two milks and three waters for table 5", where "a milk" would be in whatever is its usual portion.

In brief, it might be unusual, but in a World Bank book about economic development it doesn't look out of place.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .