There are different types of problem.


There are different types of problems.

I easily get confused when I make such sentence(s). Look, still I am not sure whether I should use sentence or sentences.

  • If you used singular problem for some reason (maybe wouldn't make sense in this example), you would at least need an article.
    – user3169
    Feb 23, 2016 at 3:26
  • How do you say such things in your mother tongue? Do you say "when I make such sentence or when I make such sentences?
    – rogermue
    Feb 23, 2016 at 14:42
  • @rogermue In my language we don't have plural for "sentence". We usually say "when I make such sentence".
    – John Rambo
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:49
  • @JohnRambo What language is it?
    – rogermue
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:58
  • Could you add another set of sentences that confuse you? There are a couple things this could be. Feb 23, 2016 at 19:20

3 Answers 3

  • There are different types of problems.
  • That is a different type of problem.
  • I get confused when I make such sentences.
  • I get confused when I make such a sentence.

First it is a matter of singular or plural nouns.

Look up "Countable and Uncountable Nouns".

That will help you get a better understanding. You will review about using them "some"' "such", "any", "few", "so", etc. It takes practice more than anything. Honestly, we don't know the rules, we just know if it sounds right.


Thinking about examples and whether they seem right or not, I don't have a scholarly answer. The closest empirical thing can think of is that it follows from how the word you're working with pluralizes in general.

For instance: it's normal to say "Do you like pizza?" and not "Do you like pizzas?", even though pizza is "singular". You'd actually see "We have fifteen types of pizza" or "We have fifteen types of pizzas" and either would be fine... (with "fifteen types of pizza" being slightly preferred, I would think).

"sentences" and "problems" don't as easily fall into that category:

  • "There are three types of problem: problem you make for yourself, problem you make for others, and math problem."

But "love" is in this category:

  • "There are three types of love: selfish love, unselfish love, and love of porcupines."

Perhaps someone has a better answer. But I'd say that if you extend your use of "types of X" out like that to start giving the "X" instances, whether you use singular or plural should be able to line up in both places in how you intend to use the category.


As others have alluded to, it depends on how you consider the last word.

In the form "types of X", if X is considered to be a collection or category, use the singular. If it is considered as instances of a collection or category, use the plural.

Often, X can be either, but one style is much more commonly used. Then you use the common style unless you want to call attention to the topic.

In your example, the plural types of problems is more common (ngram).

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