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Questions tagged [singular-vs-plural]

For questions about the difference between singular and plural forms of a word; when they should be used, or the difference between them.

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Why does a native English speaker on TV respond "Five month" instead of "5 months" in the context of pregnancy?

Man and his ex-girlfriend are arguing, and the man is shocked to find out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant. And they are talking: Man: How... I mean, how far gone are you? Woman: Is it too late to make ...
Yunus's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
46 views

plot vs plots for comparison

Hamlet and Macbeth are very much alike in their plot. Should plot be replaced with plots? I think so. Because there are two plots: the plot of Hamlet and the plot of Macbeth, so plural, right?
tryingtobeastoic's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
78 views

If each person owns one house, should I say: Five people live in [a house or houses]?

These five people live in houses. These five people live in a house. Each of them only lives in one house, but the second sentence can also be understood as all five of them live together in a single ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
595 views

Surfing social media is one of the most, if not the most popular ______ among my friends => pastime or pastimes?

Surfing social media is one of the most, if not the most popular ______ among my friends. Should I use "pastime" or "pastimes" here? Should I place a comma between "most"...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Collective nouns in use

We can say "the team is or are" depending on how we see it. What if we say "A team"? Then only "is" is correct,right?
Gregor's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
110 views

"It's both talent and hard work that are/is required." — Why is "are" incorrect? "Both talent and hard work" is plural and must agree only with "are"

proofreadnow.com: If the subject consists of two or more words that are connected by "and" or by "both ... and", the subject is plural and requires a plural verb. From this text, ...
Loviii's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
172 views

Question regarding using singular or plural nouns

Recently I have been puzzled by this question below: There ___ a pen and two slices of cake. Should I put "is" or "are" for the blank above? Some argued that "is" is ...
Tsain's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
31 views

singular or plural of "drink" [cups of drink] or [cups of drinks]

I have made up the sentences below. (1) I'm very thirsty. Bob, I'm happy you're going to shop at the store over there. I'm not sure what I want to drink. (a) You can just get me four cups of drink. (b)...
ansonman's user avatar
  • 629
0 votes
3 answers
41 views

"have a better imagination" or "have better imagination"

Reading fairy tales allows children to have better imagination. Reading fairy tales allows children to have a better imagination. According to OD, imagination can be both countable and uncountable. ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why is zero plural?

I saw this sentence in the math textbook. For example, if we choose two 2s, zero 3s, and one 5, we get the divisor Here they said zero 3s and one 5. Two is plural and one is singular, which is ...
user67275's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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"List" + singular noun or "List" + plural noun?

I was having this discussion with a colleague on naming a programming function. Which gives us a list of logs that we call the "audit trail". I told my colleague that it would be incorrect ...
João Filipe Ventura Coelho's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
38 views

"migrant worker population" or "migrant workers population"

I'm always confused when it comes to whether to use plural or singular attributive nouns. I know the general rule, which is to use the singular form in cases where you are unsure, but every once in a ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
379 views

Why use the word "event" in singular form in the following context?

I am trying to understand the following sentence: In many cases, we are interested in the probability of some event, given that some other event has happened. "some" + "event": ...
Sardor Abdirayimov's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Is what I wrote one pattern or two patterns?

Should sales for the three companies all increased and Company X had the highest sales figure be viewed as one pattern or two patterns? I don't know if I should use pattern or patterns. I somehow feel ...
newbie forever's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

Difference in meaning between singular and plural in negative statements [closed]

I want to figure out the differences between the following sentences and if they have the same meaning? What about adding "any" in the middle. I don't have a question. --- I don't have ...
Zelin's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
301 views

"depend on contexts" or "depend on context" or "depend on the context"?

When I want to say an expression (or expressions) means different things in different situations, should I say which of the following (I assume a context won't work)? The meaning depends on (contexts,...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 564
0 votes
1 answer
26 views

Noun(singular or plural) + collective Noun

What is the correct number form for detailing of collective noun? E.g. for the group of errors: Error group Errors group or for the group of students: Student group Students group?
Rekshino's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
24 views

"Teacher numbers" or "Teacher number" in England have/has increased over time - and why?

Teacher numbers or teacher number in England have/has increased over time. We normally say the number of teachers, so I always thought teacher number is the way to go. But according to my research, ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Every A and B - singular or plural

Every mother and father wants their child to succeed. My grammar book and every other source I've found says wants is correct because a subject with every is always singular. However, my English ...
KoreanStudent52's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Should I write "a Master of Science degree" or "a master's degree in science" in this case?

Only very small parts of the Malaysian and Singaporean populations hold a [master's degree in science/Master of Science degree]. First, though I know a master's degree in science is correct here, I'm ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
195 views

The sales for the video games sector ARE (or) IS increasing? Why is "sales" a plural noun when it refers to the number of items sold?

The sales for the video games sector ARE (or) IS increasing. According to the OALD, sales (plural noun) means the number of items sold. If it refers to the number, not the items, why is it a plural ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
28 views

Should I use plural or singular form of verb in those sentences

I'm confused, with those sentences, first I thought I should use GRANTS in all, but in second thought I'm not sure what is the subject of those sentences. Is the word "completing" / "...
Sandra's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
2 answers
175 views

the percentages or percentage of three different groups

In a graph showing data on people using the Internet in Korea, Japan, and China, a writer wrote: The line graph compares the percentage of people in three countries who used the Internet between 1999 ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

Should compound nouns treated as singular or plural

All, Which one is correct: "statistical techniques is " or "statistical techniques are" I Googled "statistical techniques is" and also "statistical techniques are&...
Kernel's user avatar
  • 115
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Percentage change in value or values?

The charts are from my book published by Cambridge University Press. Any chance the book is wrong? In the tile of the table, I think the singular "value" should be used. Percentage change ...
newbie forever's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

exports or export?

Should I use 'export' because coffee is uncountable? Coffee is the top export from this country. Should apples be viewed as one category of exports and so the singular export should be used, or ...
newbie forever's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

either side: plural or singular

He sat in the back of the car with a policeman on either side. -Longman Dictionary- Unfortunately I was sitting at the table with smokers on either side of me. -Cambridge Dictionary- They both ...
Biet's user avatar
  • 109
1 vote
2 answers
181 views

"There is" or "there are" with compound subjects that have a mix of plural and singular elements [duplicate]

There is a cat, a dog, and an elephant in the room. There are two cats, a dog, and an elephant in the room. There is a cat, two dogs, and an elephant in the room. In the first sentence, all of these ...
Utshaw's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
144 views

Are both verb forms acceptable? "There is/are marks all over it."

a) There are marks all over it. b) There is marks all over it. “Is” vs. “Are”—Correct Usage Can is be switched with are here or it is ungrammatical to do so? I may be inclined to say in speech: there ...
bluebell1's user avatar
  • 577
1 vote
1 answer
207 views

Which phrase is correct "stiffener set" or "stiffeners set"?

Which phrase is correct to define a set of stiffeners: "stiffener set" or "stiffeners set"?
Евгений Павлов's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
82 views

What [is/are] needed [is/are] additional resources. which one is correct?

In the book 'Advanced Grammar in Use 3rd Edition' it says that 'if we use a what-clause as subject, we use a singular verb if the following main noun is singular, and either a singular or a plural ...
hwkal's user avatar
  • 650
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

I sometimes go for <a walk><walks> (after supper)

(1) I sometimes go for a walk. (2) I sometimes go for walks. (3) I sometimes go for a walk after supper. (4) I sometimes go for walks after supper. Question: Which are correct? Sentence (4) sounds a ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
89 views

visitor numbers / the number of visitors

(1) Visitor numbers increase in the summer. (source) (2) The number of visitors increases in the summer. Sentence (1) is incomprehensible to me, and I would say sentence (2). What logic is behind the ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
448 views

Singular or plural noun: "whether any of Dr Jones's acquaintances knows/know"

An investigation is underway to discover whether any of Dr Jones's acquaintances knows/know where he is. In my opinion, after 'any of' and a plural noun, we can use either a singular or plural verb, ...
Omen's user avatar
  • 195
3 votes
1 answer
145 views

the world's forest when talking about forest area

So I wrote, "27% of the world's forest is in Africa," to imply that Africa's forest area constitutes 27% of the world's forest area. However, a native speaker suggested that I use forests ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
71 views

Why does "depth" have to be in its plural form in these sentences?

Why is there an "s" after the word "depth" in these sentences? Is it grammatically wrong if I remove the "s"? Alvin can dive to ocean depths of 20,000 feet. (For ...
hhhh's user avatar
  • 196
0 votes
0 answers
21 views

A kind word and forgiveness II

Posting a new question to make things clear, to avoid confusion. Which one is grammatical? A kind word and forgiveness is good. A kind word and forgiveness are good.
xeesid's user avatar
  • 1,449
3 votes
1 answer
148 views

antique dealer VS antiques dealer — Does "s" affect the meaning?

On oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com, first they give the collocation "an antique dealer" but then (in the "Extra Examples" section) give a sentence having "an antiques dealer&...
Loviii's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
1k views

When 'business' means 'company,' is it a countable noun?

This is from The Washington Post article : What's a company to do? In today's litigious and document-deluged workplace, a poorly written manual can lead to liability suits and even low-risk decisions ...
qna's user avatar
  • 447
6 votes
5 answers
3k views

"Make Our Life ..." vs "Make Our Lives ..."

I had thought "Make Our Life easier" was wrong and that I should use the plural form, "Make Our Lives easier" but I find I see the form "Make Our Life ..." from time to ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Difference between: "both can be viewed as [a task / tasks]…“

What is the difference in comparing plural nouns to a singular noun or a plural noun? I've seen several versions of comparing noun A to noun B when the noun A is plural. Some sentences use the ...
Tran Khanh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
42 views

singular or plural "start and finish time" or "start and finish times"

(1) What is the start and finish time of your first class? (2) What are the start and finish time of your first class? (3) What are the start and finish timeS of your first class? I am not sure which ...
ansonman's user avatar
  • 629
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

singular or plural: "cost of repair" or "cost of repairs" or "cost of a repair"

I have made up the sentences below. (1) When a refrigerator stops working, I buy a new one because the cost of repair can be very high. (2) When a refrigerator stops working, I buy a new one because ...
ansonman's user avatar
  • 629
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Two questions on singular-vs-plural

1 There's an idiom "rub something in someone's face". For instance, I really screwed up my speech, and Caroline keeps rubbing the disaster in my face. (https://www.idiomsandslang.com/rub-...
Zhang Jian's user avatar
  • 1,143
0 votes
2 answers
171 views

For the wages of sin is death

The Bible has a line that I like: Romans 6 (Wikipedia) For the wages of sin is death If I wanted to quote that line but be grammatically correct, should I say wage (singular), not wages (plural)? ...
User1974's user avatar
  • 133
1 vote
4 answers
66 views

Is this gramatically correct: "A count of how many of this item are in the game and where this card lies within that count"?

I read the following sentence in a game rule book: An item card includes: a count of how many of this item are in the game and where this card lies within that count. Is this gramatically correct, ...
Darren Jordan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

people who own houses

a. People who own houses in our city are usually well-off. b. People who own a house in our city are usually well-off. Is there any difference in the meanings of these sentences? Does (a) imply that ...
azz's user avatar
  • 2,993
0 votes
0 answers
57 views

What's the correct form: "pets island" or '"pet's island"

I'm trying to write a short paragraph about an animal island and I'm a bit confused as to what would be the correct sentence to use for the title.
Frikar's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Is there any rule that there should always be an article before a singular, uncountable, and common noun?

Sentence is - For a long time, paracetamol has been recommended as a first-line drug in pain management guidelines. On Google, I found that "paracetamol" is a common noun and is also a ...
Aryendu Kumar's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
87 views

"A count of how many of this item IS in the room", or "A count of how many of this item ARE in the room" [duplicate]

Which is correct out of the following? A count of how many of this item ARE in the room A count of how many of this item IS in the room Does the this item require the singular is?
Darren Jordan's user avatar

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