10

Which sentence is correct:

In this section you can make a payment: verify carefully that all the data submitted is correct and confirm by clicking the Proceed button.

or

In this section you can make a payment: verify carefully that all the data submitted are correct and confirm by clicking the Proceed button.

10

Answer: either form is fine.

Data is typically treated in contemporary English as a "mass noun", an undifferentiated collection (like "sand") that takes the singular "is".

This is the most common usage today.

But it CAN also be treated as a plural of "datum" and take "are" with equal ease and correctness.

If we recast the sentence with an explicit plural noun: "In this section you can make a payment: verify carefully that all the answers submitted ARE correct and confirm by clicking the Proceed button." then you must use "are".

If there was prior discussion of "data items" or the like, then the established context may cause the plural treatment to be preferred for continuity.

  • 1
    I'd also add to this that data point is sometimes used as a synonym for datum since the latter is a very uncommon word in conversational English. – Era Jan 18 '16 at 18:26
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    Note that in my experience, in American English, data is almost always treated as singular, while British English is more likely to use the plural. – Martha May 20 '16 at 15:05
2

Words like "data" are tricky, as both data can be used singular and plural.

If it was something like "If all the pieces of data are correct....." then the subject in this case is singular, as there are multiple pieces of singular data.

But in your case, the correct sentence is ...all the data submitted is correct because its a single piece of data.

  • 1
    "If all the pieces of data are correct....." then the subject in this case is singular - do you mean the subject is plural? You've used the pluralized verb form are. Correctly, because the subject here is the plural word pieces. Also, proofreading my comment made me repeat plural in my head so much that it now sounds weird. – Esoteric Screen Name May 22 '14 at 12:51
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    @EsotericScreenName Semantic satiation strikes again! – snailcar May 23 '14 at 1:43

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