Would it be correct (and why?) to use a plural form in a sentence like:

The data shows the increases in traffic for different things.

I would think that a singular noun may be better, because we are talking about one thing (the increase) many different times. Also if I had to use a plural, I'd say:

The data shows increases in traffic for different things.

Without the "the"

3 Answers 3


The first sentence would be more applicable to the specific data, as in, it would give a detailed description of the increases.

The second sentence is more apt for a summary of the data.

The the is used here in the first sentence to indicate specificity.


Without context, it's hard to actually answer your question.

Generally, both are correct.

If you are talking about a singular increase, then it may be better to use the article an, as in The data shows an increase in traffic


Increase is correct, because 'increases' implies a multitude of something; it can be compared with when you would use 'many' instead of 'much'. In other words, it's because 'traffic' is a single entity (it's never 'traffics' and can't be counted). You can say 'much traffic' but not 'many traffic', therefore you would say increase.

  • I disagree. Both are equally correct but have different meaning. See Chowdhury's answer for reference. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 11:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .