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Are these examples correct?

  1. Villages after villages were destroyed by terrorists.
  2. City after city was set on fire.
  3. Pages after pages were reviewed multiple times.
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  • 1
    'City' is not a plural noun. Nov 15, 2022 at 12:36
  • Perhaps, he wanted to ask if it's correct to say cities after cities were... Nov 15, 2022 at 13:06
  • 1
    Are you asking about prepositions in general or just the preposition after?
    – David K
    Nov 16, 2022 at 3:56

1 Answer 1

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In none of these examples is it idiomatic to use the plural, neither for the nouns nor the verbs.

One would say Village after village was destroyed./ City after city was set on fire./Page after page was reviewed multiple times.

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  • 2
    Although you might say drops upon drops of water fell from the roof. See Google Ngram. Nov 15, 2022 at 15:32
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    @PeterShor with "upon" the plural works. with "after" it does not. For example, cities upon cities makes perfect sense, but "cities after cities" does not.
    – Esther
    Nov 15, 2022 at 16:12
  • @Esther Very good point, I agree.
    – WS2
    Nov 15, 2022 at 17:27
  • This is known in linguistics as the NPN construction. muse.jhu.edu/content/crossref/journals/language/v084/…
    – nschneid
    Nov 15, 2022 at 18:23

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