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Which of these is/are correct and why?

  1. while stocks last (as in e.g. Offer/promotion valid while stocks last)
  2. while stock last
  3. while stock lasts
  4. while the stocks last
  5. while the stock last
  6. while the stock lasts

(To be more specific, let's say the offer/promotion is "5 apples for £2" at a supermarket.)

I was pretty sure only 1 is correct but various discussions elsewhere seem to have different opinions. So I was hoping to get a more definite and definitive explanation here.

Note: It seems this is a mainly BrE expression (AmE would instead use while supplies last).


If I'm correct about only 1 being correct, then how is this consistent with our use of the phrases

  1. out of stock; and
  2. in stock?

Shouldn't these instead be

  1. out of stocks; and
  2. in stocks?

(Maybe 9 and 10 are also acceptable? Or maybe 7 and 8 are just idiomatic expressions/set phrases that can't be varied?)

(Possibly related: 1, 2.)

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  • 1
    (2) and (5) are ungrammatical (an uncountable noun can't take a plural verb). The others are possible, though While stocks last is the normal British idiom. Commented Mar 29 at 8:51

1 Answer 1

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Number 3 is correct. Stock (or Equity) is your complete product inventory. So "while stock lasts" is correct.

'Stocks' generally refers to shares as you are talking about stock from different companies.

That is, "out of stock" is correct"

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    Commented Mar 29 at 6:44
  • No. 1 is commonly used in British English (when a business is selling off its stock of a certain product and not intending to acquire any more). Commented Mar 29 at 8:43

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