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  • Tennis and basketball are played on a court.
  • Tennis and basketball are played on courts. I have seen sentences similar to both of them in texts. But I am not sure that are they grammatically correct. Can we use them interchangeably and there is not any preference?
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  • Why do you need to say this? Who do you need to explain about different sports to?
    – James K
    Apr 9, 2020 at 20:24
  • @JamesK e.g. I want to specify the place that those sports are played on: court, pitch, etc. Apr 9, 2020 at 21:11

1 Answer 1

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You would not normally say "Tennis is played on courts".

That sentence could happen in very unusual circumstances, but the normal way to express what is meant is: "Tennis is played on a court."

Just like "bowling is played on an alley" and "shooting is played on a range".

Since "Tennis is played on a court." is correct, then very simply

"Tennis and Basketball are played on a court."

or

"Tennis, Basketball, Badminton and Volleyball are played on a court."

There's no difference between there being "one item in the list" ("Tennis") and a few items in the list "Tennis, Basketball, Badminton and Volleyball"

Your basic question is resolved by noticing that it makes no difference how many items are "in the list" about to be discussed.


So to repeat: set aside the "multiple games" issue.

"Tennis is played on a court."

is more correct and normal than

"Tennis is played on courts."

Of course, you can construct an unusual situation where you would say "Tennis is played on courts." (For example, consider something along the lines "Tennis is played on courts 13, 14 and 18, but badminton is played on courts 15, 16 and 18.")

However, "unusual exceptions" can be dredged up for any question on this site.

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  • While I agree with your answer, it would be better to present references instead of relying on your own authority.
    – CJ Dennis
    Apr 10, 2020 at 0:11
  • @CJDennis , I don't disagree with you. The fact is on ELL sometimes there's just not time - other answers are always welcome.
    – Fattie
    Apr 10, 2020 at 11:18

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