Here is the paragraph from an LSAT;

Some say that funding the megatelescope will benefit only the astronomers who will work with it. This dangerous point of view, applied to the work of Maxwell, Newton, or Einstein, would have stifled their research and deprived the world of beneficial applications, such as the development of radio, that followed from that research.

My questions are:

  1. Why the second sentence uses "their research" instead of "researches"? I thought these three scientists lived in different times and didn't work together for a research.

  2. Following the same reason above, why at the end the paragraph puts "that research"?

Thank you very much.


1 Answer 1


"Research" is nearly always treated as an uncountable noun, so forms like "a research" or "researches" are rare in modern English. So the singular must be used.

If a countable noun like "investigation" was used in place of "research" you would be correct. In that case you would say "investigations".

In this sense the word "research" is grammatically singular, but means the "many acts of investigation which may be carried out be different people and at different times". So it can sometimes be replaced by a plural like "investigations"

  • And Ngram shows the mass noun becoming more common than "researches" since 1940 or so. Mar 20, 2021 at 9:37

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