I found this sentence:

Everything is secrecy and lies.

Why is "lies" pluralized? Is there a rule? I would put a singular form here.

  • 2
    Because lie is a count noun, while secrecy is a mass noun. If it were a count noun, it would be plural too. In other words, there is a lot of secrecy, and there are a lot of lies. Jan 24, 2021 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


A "lie" is a countable noun. Each piece of misinformation is a lie. Interconnected mistruths are referred to as lies, or sometimes a "web" or "tissue" of lies (you can research those idioms yourself).

Your example refers to "everything" being a lie, which implies that there are multiple lies to count. If there was only one identifiable lie you wouldn't say "everything was lies", you'd say "it was a lie".

"Secrecy" is an abstract noun, which are usually non-countable in most contexts. In your example, it would cover a set of related secrets without the need to be pluralised.

The plural "secrecies" only needs to be used if there are multiple counts of secrecy. For example, if many people had their own secrets and you referred to the people in the plural you might do the same - eg "the men had their secrecies". But if you wanted to talk about a single act of secrecy in which many are colluding, you could say "there was secrecy among the men".

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