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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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13
votes
7answers
51k views

Shouldn't “five minute walk” be “five minutes walk” in this sentence?

Recently, while skimming through an article I came across a sentence which is as follows. The five minute walk will connect you with life. My rationale says it should have been "five minutes" &...
24
votes
5answers
6k views

Plurality of verb depending on plurality of list elements

This question is also open on EL&U: “There Is”/“There are” depends on plurality of the first list element or not? Considering the amount of controversy it aroused, I believe it's past "Learners'" ...
33
votes
5answers
118k views

Should nouns after “any” be singular or plural?

While I was answering a question on ELL, I got confused with a comment from a fellow user. After I indicated that: "Do you have any idea to prove it?' is grammatically correct, the OP commented ...
16
votes
2answers
365 views

How can I explain to a non-native why the plural of a noun isn't used adjectivally?

How can I explain to a non-native speaker that while this is correct: The felling of trees. And this is also correct: tree felling This is not: *trees felling To a non-native it seems ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Band Name Grammar

If there is a name of a band, like The Black Keys, do you say "The Black Keys are awesome*" or "The Black Keys is awesome"? Normally, you would say a band is 'they,' but then you would say 'they are ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

a two hour leave VS. two hours leave

I couldn't get the difference between these? give me a two hour leave give me two hours leave What is more, when it comes to using the latter, which one would you rather use? two hours' ...
5
votes
2answers
41k views

These kind of/ this kind of/those kind of

Which one is the most suitable option for the following sentence and why? I do not like these kind of novels. This kind Those kind This kinds None of the above Please let me know ...
1
vote
1answer
983 views

Team as singular or plural

I am a bit confused with this sentence. The team was/were now in the field and about to take their/its place. Since we are referring to taking positions on the field and as all the players take ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

“0.4 point” or “0.4 points”? “1.0 point” or “1.0 points”?

I still can't wrap my head around this one and have to consult references every time I want to be safe: Is it "0.4 point" or "0.4 points"? Is it "1.0 point" or "1.0 points"? I know that I can work ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Zero rupees or zero rupee on the note?

5th Pillar is an NGO fighting against the corruption in India. As a part of non-cooperation movement against corruption, it has come up with a zero rupee note. Here is its image: Now, my question is:...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

Two-year program or Two-years program? [duplicate]

Which is correct, a "two-year" program or "two-years" program? The difference between two expressions is the absence/presence of "s", i.e., singular or plural.
3
votes
2answers
34k views

Is “mathematics” singular or plural?

I always say "mathematics is funny" (ok, maybe many of you disagree about the adjective), but then I noticed that "mathematics" seems to be a plural, like the Greek word from which it derives. Am I ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Does singular or plural verb goes with plural nouns like trousers, glasses, scissors, binoculars and many more?

My glasses (was/were) lying on the table. My trousers (is/are) torn. (This/These) binoculars (was/were) gifted to me. I know they're in plural form, but plural nouns such as rickets, measles ...
30
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is “letter” not plural in “two letter words”?

Why is "letter" not plural in "two letter words"? For me it's very strange as the equivalent in French would be plural but my English friend finds it totally normal.
18
votes
4answers
9k views

Why is there no plural 's' after “hundred” or “thousand” in cardinal numbers?

Let's say we have the numeral "12,345". Why is it pronounced as "twelve thousand three hundred and forty five" as opposed to "twelve thousands three hundreds and forty five". Are 's's omitted while ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Singular or plural with “zero”: “The temperature will drop to zero degree(s)”

Please have a look at the two sentences below: The temperature will drop to zero degree. The temperature will drop to zero degrees. So which one is correct? In other words, how to use the plural ...
11
votes
2answers
55k views

“I'm wearing a red PANT.” or “I'm wearing a red PANTS.”

Is correct to use "Pant" or is "Pants" better? Here the phrase below: I'm wearing a red pants.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Singular Vs plural while making a general statement

I'm having a hard time understanding whether to use plural or singular while making general sentences. Doing a bit of research I found both can be used. For example: Dogs are loyal animals. A ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

“Was” or “were” in sentence where no noun subject exists

I can't figure out if the below sentence should use “was” or “were”, since I'm not sure what the subject of the sentence is. Is the sentence incomplete? How do I handle this kind of sentence, where no ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Exist vs exists in mathematics

Are there any rules about when to say exist and when to say exists in mathematics? For example, both these sentences appear in a book of mine: There exist αi in I such that xn = Σ αi xi. There ...
6
votes
4answers
23k views

Should a verb after “any” be singular or plural?

While I'm aware of Should nouns after "any" be singular or plural? it does not quite answer my question. I have a simple sentence: If any of the devices was not switched off, do something....
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How exactly do I tell if “A xxx of” is plural or singular?

I looked up a few grammar-teaching websites (in Chinese language). The website says many people do not use the phrase "A xxx of" correctly because they do not identify the subject of the phrase ...
5
votes
2answers
38k views

My family ( is / are ) all doctors

I understand that "family" is usually followed by a singular verb in American English, but how about the sentence in the title? Is it ok to say "My family is all doctors." in AE?
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Is “a couple of something” plural or singular?

Which of the followings is correct? There are still a couple of months left until the end of semester. There is still a couple of months left until the end of semester.
7
votes
1answer
363 views

“Black and white dogs”: ambiguity with coordinate adjectives

A black and a white dog means "two dogs". A black and white dog means "one dog". Then what about black and white dogs? Does this mean two things? "Dogs, each of black and white color" and "dogs of ...
6
votes
4answers
12k views

One of the best gift / gifts in my life is love

One of the best gift / gifts in my life is love. When I indicate a single thing (love) as best, after "One of the best" would it be gift or gifts?
6
votes
1answer
39k views

Should the noun be in singular or plural form after “some”?

I usually use the plural form after "some." Example: I bought some books about France But I would also say some source states that France is best toured in fall. Is there a specific grammar ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Could 'it' be regarded as plural? Why is 'were' used instead of 'is' in “…if it were cleaned and fed…”?

I am reading 'Justice' from M.J. Sandel and he quoted the story from another author to criticize utilitarian as follows: If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of the vile place, if it ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

If he were Or If he was

I saw this New York Times article: Mr. Trump’s presence in the 2016 race has already had pernicious effects, but they’re nothing compared with what would happen if he were the Republican standard-...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

In the sentence of concern, should I use the plural form of the noun?

If you like a song, and you think it's catchy, could you say this? Songs don't get much catchier than this. My concern is the plural songs, when people say things similar to Life can't/doesn't ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

Listing differnet kinds of an uncoutable noun. Are they countable or uncountable?

How do you I refer to different kind of an uncountable noun? For example, this is a part of my writing: Using oil (coconut oil, olive oil) to moisturize your skin after bath. Those oil... I want ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

When do I use “was” and when do I use “were”

Do I use was or were in this sentence? Bonnie, along with her associates, was invited to the gathering.
19
votes
5answers
150k views

“There is a lot ” vs. “There are lot”

There is a lot of animals. There are lot of animals. Which one between the above sentences is correct? Or can both be used?
13
votes
6answers
33k views

Why is “many a man” singular while “many men” plural?

Recently I came to know that there is a construction "Many a man" which is equivalent to "many men". But I also noticed that the former construction is considered as singular, e.g. Many a man has ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

They write in their school diary (or) diaries?

Currently, I am using a children's English coursebook called Gold Experience A2, by Pearson, it's for a private student of mine. It's supposed to help young learners prepare for the KEY exam, and it ...
5
votes
1answer
30k views

`Is there any way… ` or `Are there any ways…`, which is correct?

I'm a self-learning programmer and every time I use Stack Overflow to post a question, on which I want to get whatever answers to achieve what I intend, I use both of these two statements: Is there ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“Aren't” instead “am not” for first person singular

I often notice that instead of "am not" the "aren't" version is used and I wonder if that is truly acceptable. What confuses me is that in school we were taught that the short version of am not is amn'...
10
votes
3answers
895 views

Is “staff” singular or plural?

In the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary there is an example for "get by": We can get by with four computers at the moment, but we'll need a couple more when the new staff arrive. (Emphasis ...
8
votes
6answers
36k views

A group of boys is/are [duplicate]

1) A group of boys is playing football. or 2) A group of boys are playing football. My teacher told me the first sentence is correct since of boys can be ignored to make: A group is playing ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

A problem with “news”

I know news doesn't have a plural, but what is correct in the following example: We must recognize real news from fake one. or We must recognize real news from fake ones. Thank you in advance
6
votes
7answers
6k views

Should I use 'is' or 'are' with this complex subject?

What form of to be would be right to use in this case? Why drug abuse in general and cannabis consumption in particular is/are dangerous for your health.
4
votes
2answers
10k views

“6-foot tall” or “6-feet tall”?

I have heard/seen people say/write "She is 5 feet 10 inches tall" and "She is 5-foot-10." But in formal writing, is there a convention? I found both "8-foot-tall" and "nine-feet tall" in online ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What kind/kinds of car/cars are you interested in?

What kind of car are you interested in? What kind of cars are you interested in? What kinds of cars are you interested in? Is there any one that can’t be allowed to be said? I would think ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

Is “A number of…” plural or singular? [duplicate]

Is the following sentence correct? A number of researchers are expected to attend the conference Notice that the sentence is using the plural verb "are" after "researchers" but I don't know if it ...
5
votes
2answers
59k views

“Each of them is” or “each of them are”?

Should I use the plural form of verb for each or the single form? Example: Each of them are used for different purposes. Each of them is used for different purposes.
5
votes
1answer
429 views

Which one sounds right: “life is short” or “lives are short”?

According to the Oxford Learner's Dictionary, "life" can be a countable and uncountable noun. The floods caused a massive loss of life Hundreds of lives were threatened But if we wanted to say "...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Five foot ten” or “five feet ten”?

I'm not sure if this sort of question has ever been asked, and it's surprisingly difficult to do a productive generic search for this contextual expression (contextual as in involving numbers). I ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Plural and countability of the word 'performance'

Algorithms A and B provide good performance. Algorithms A and B provide good performances. Could you please tell me which one between the above sentences is correct ? Algorithm A provides ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

This or that is/are?

When you have something like: The cat or dog are/is called... Is it "are" or "is" I am unsure as it could be either which makes it plural right? What about these cases: The cats or dog ____ ...
0
votes
2answers
299 views

Can I use the verb 'even' in such expression 'I can't even their knowledge'?

additional information According to this source the word 'even' can be used as a verb (e.g. she cut the hair again to even up the ends) question #1: Can I use the verb 'even' to describe action ...