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I have the following sentences.

  1. This is our first arrival in the UK.
  2. These are our first arrival in the UK.

I am not sure, which sentence is correct?

2 Answers 2

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"This is our first arrival in the UK" is correct.

There is only one arrival under discussion -- your first one -- so the subject is singular. You used the singular word "arrival". Thus a singular verb and pronoun are called for.

If you were talking about multiple arrivals, you would say "these are". Like, "These are arrivals that occurred during 2014."

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    These are the arrivals that occurred...I think
    – Maulik V
    Mar 25, 2015 at 4:23
  • @MaulikV Not sure what point you're making. Please clarify.
    – Jay
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:08
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    @Jay I'm not sure, but maybe he's pointing at using the definite article. (the arrivals) IMHO, using or not using the definite article does change the meaning somehow, but one isn't prior to the other.
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:08
  • @MARamezani If so, the sentence is valid with or without the article, though the meaning is slightly changed. Are we talking about arrivals in general, or some specific set of arrivals?
    – Jay
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:48
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    @MaulikV Not necessarily. If we are distinguishing two sets of arrivals, say those that happened in 2014 and those that happened in 2013, then, yes, we'd say "THE arrivals for 2014" and "THE arrivals for 2013". But if we were talking about some other characteristic of arrivals, say, arrivals by plane versus ship, and then we notice that the arrivals by plane were all in 2014, we might say, "These are arrivals that occurred in 2014" without using an article.
    – Jay
    Mar 26, 2015 at 12:34
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It depends what you are trying to say.

If you are talking about your family arriving to the UK for the first time, you might say

This is our first arrival in the UK.

If you are Theresa May and are greeting initial refugees from Syria, you might say to the press

These are our first arrivals in the UK.

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