Suppose that Ebola is the current issue:

  1. New cases occurred by the dozen.
  2. New cases occurred by the hundred.

It seems that second sentence is wrong, because "hundred" should be followed by "s". Yet, in the first sentence, "dozen" doesn't need the "s". Why is that?

  • What is the source, or are there references for your suppositions?
    – user3169
    Oct 15, 2014 at 2:44
  • @user3169 The current question came from this thread. I tried to squeeze the current into that thread, but was told to start a new thread.
    – meatie
    Oct 15, 2014 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


You can use by the dozen or by the dozens depending on context.

by the dozen refers to specific quantities of 12, or as a general term for a large quantity.

Eggs are normally sold by the dozen.
The government is producing new policies by the dozen.

by the dozens is more of a generalized term for a large quantity less than "hundreds".

Just then people began showing up by the dozens.

  • So, the singular "the hundred" could be used like in "eggs are sold by the hundred" to refer to eggs being sold in multiples of one hundred?
    – meatie
    Oct 15, 2014 at 4:13
  • Yes, you are correct.
    – user3169
    Oct 15, 2014 at 5:03

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