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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2
votes
1answer
202 views

Using plural and singular with “each” before or after

It seems correct to me to say These 5 apples weigh 100g each. However it also seems correct to say Each of these 5 apples weighs 100g. What is the reasoning behind using the plural in the ...
0
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2answers
15k views

Distinction between singular “like” and plural “likes”

I received this question from a non-native English speaker and was not sure how to answer it. We can see that the noun "like", when used with pronouns, can be defined in singular and plural as: like ...
3
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3answers
13k views

Why can we say “drink” but we can't say “drinks”

Why can we use the first sentence and not the second one? after take off, we will have food and drink after take off, we will have food and drinks Which is more correct?
5
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2answers
2k views

“an average of 1,500 lives have (or ”has“?) been claimed every year”: singular or plural subject?

Should I write: an average of 1,500 lives has been claimed every year an average of 1,500 lives have been claimed every year The subject of the sentence is an average (singular), not 1,500 lives, so ...
0
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1answer
1k views

About experience or experiences and knowledge(s). Uncountable or countable?

How to decide use countable or uncountable form of word experience? Also I have required background knowledge and experience(s) for this position.
13
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6answers
35k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is “adjective+plural noun+noun” a valid grammatical structure?

There are many instances in the English language that we want to use a noun as a modifier but we want that noun to specify a number of things rather than just one. As an example, I want to say that ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

Why the word “one” is ungrammatical?

This is a TOEFL question. Astronomers use photography and sighting telescopes to study the motion of all of the bright stars and many of the faint one. I think the word "one" is grammatical, but ...
4
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2answers
8k views

There has to be vs there have to be

What's correct here? There has to be some people left after the flood. There have to be some people left after the flood. I assume "have" because "people" is plural but I'm confused now ...
2
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2answers
580 views

Should I use plural or singular when saying a range

e.g. Should I say the colors of tube 1-3 or the colors of tubes 1-3? I know there are more than one tube, but we usually say tube 1 and tube 3 and I feel strange to say tubes 1 to 3.
3
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1answer
668 views

Plurality of a collection

Take the sentence: Update the titles of each document Should title(s) be plural? I am unsure because there are multiple titles since we have a collection of documents but only referring to a single ...
2
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2answers
37k views

Interest or Interests?

I want to say something like my interests/interest in basketball and table tennis gradually develops as .... shall I use interests or interest, and what is the general rule behind this?
7
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3answers
2k views

V-ing and V-ing is vs. V-ing and V-ing are

Which following sentence is correct, and why? Mapping and combining data is hard. Mapping and combining data are hard. More generally, I would like to know whether a subject of the form V-ing and V-...
16
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2answers
42k views

zero, zeros or zeroes?

What's the correct way to refer to two consecutive digits 0? double zero? double zeros? double zeroes? Here's an example phrase: The number ends with double zero[es].
1
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2answers
16k 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 ____ ...
2
votes
1answer
240 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
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2answers
174 views

How many plural should I use here?

I am writing a thesis and the title goes like this: "Interaction of Proteins with Small Molecules and Peptides" I studied the interactions of various different proteins with various different ...
4
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1answer
9k views

“Task names” or “tasks names”?

If I am looking at a list of tasks and I want to say "names of the tasks", is it wrong to say "tasks names" ? I usually see "task names", but how do you know that that means "the names of the tasks" ...
1
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1answer
2k views

A few millions results or a few million result

I have a few millions results vs I have a few million results Which one is grammatical?
2
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2answers
11k views

“You have my word” or “You have my words”?

Why it is ""You have my word" rather than "You have my words"?"
9
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4answers
23k views

dynamics: singular or plural

Does the word dynamics take a verb in singular or plural form? In Google search, it looks like both are equally used. For example, which one is more appropriate? Population dynamics is influenced ...
4
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2answers
4k views

why the use of a singular noun instead of plural?

Why must we say 'a three-MAN committee' and not 'a three-MEN committee', 'a two-DAY programme' and not 'a two-DAYS programme'? If we argue that it's because of the article 'a', since we can't have '...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Difference between “estimate” and “estimates”

There are estimates by analyst in this page. In the data table there are "High Estimates", "Low Estimates" and "Mean Estimate". Somehow with "mean", the word "estimate" is used in singular. I don't ...
2
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2answers
42 views

Opens…and leaves?

Can we say "He opens the door and leaves" or is it better to say "He opens the door and leave"?
2
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2answers
9k views

A million dollars “is” still needed, or “are” still needed? [duplicate]

Suppose that I'm trying to raise money for a fancy black tie gala, and I want to let the guests know how far we still are from the goal. Should I say One million dollars is still needed to reach ...
1
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2answers
8k views

Why is “lens” not “len”

In optics, why is "lens" not "len" used? Why is "lens" used as a singular not plural?
3
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3answers
2k views

Why is “police” singular here?

It is grammatical to use plural verb with police or the police. But when we say Delhi Police, London Police, California Police, etc., why do we use singular verb? I've seen this so many times in news. ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Time expression plus has/have [duplicate]

Ten minutes have passed. Let's wait five more. Is using have here correct?
3
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2answers
3k views

…the ones that stay… Is “that” correct?

Friends are like stars, they come and go, but the ones that stay are the ones that glow. This is a quote I read on Facebook and that is quite frequently used by some. I have doubts whether it's ...
1
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1answer
702 views

Sent her an email with or about?

Which one is correct to say? I have sent her an email with instruction about how to add mailboxes into her outlook I have sent her an email about how to add mailboxes into her outlook.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Track or tracks

A toy train is stuck on a track because there is no more "track" ahead; We need to add or build more "track" for it to move. Should the word track be plural in this sentence or singular as is correct ...
2
votes
1answer
818 views

Counting dough…pick up doughs

You have flakes or small pieces of different colors of dough. Do you pluralize these and say, "pick up all these or doughs?
4
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1answer
93 views

Red and green peppers

You have one red pepper and one green pepper. Would the following phrase be correct to express this? Red and green peppers.
2
votes
1answer
294 views

Chorus of Sia - Big Girls Cry

The last two lines from the chorus of Sia's song Big Girls Cry: Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking Big girls cry when their heart is breaking How is the shift from plural to ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Stores in the plural

If we are not sure whether this is a place with goods or just stock (or supplies of something), should we always use the noun "stores" (in the plural)? My question was inspired by this definition (1....
7
votes
6answers
11k views

“of any sorts” vs “of any sort”

Given this sentence: I started using it to document the system (we didn’t have documentations of any sorts) and create our regression tests. Concerning the part marked in bold, which would be the ...
8
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2answers
18k views

Would you like some apple/apples?

When you offer somebody two slices of apple on a plate, which sentence would you choose? Would you like some apple? Would you like some apples?
22
votes
6answers
7k views

One of my friend's OR friends' wife? (My friend has only one wife)

Anita is Neil's wife. Neil is one of my friends. Now, how do I refer to Anita? Think that I'm telling someone who does not know the couple. One of my friend's wife OR One of my friends' wife ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

“Five thousand tons of water flow/flows”?

Every minute, five thousand tons of water flow/flows over a cliff into the river below. Should the verb 'flow' be conjugated in singular or plural in this sentence?
2
votes
2answers
214 views

a programmer's text editor (sing.), programmer's text editors (pl.) — a noun in the possessive case as an adjective?

Example: You see just because you can work in a plain text editor and it is useful from time to time, doesn't mean you have to and you probably won't want to. Because with a basic text editor you'...
2
votes
2answers
23k views

'this is' or 'these are'?

I have the following sentences. This is our first arrival in the UK. These are our first arrival in the UK. I am not sure, which sentence is correct?
3
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2answers
36k 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
1k views

Using “any” with countable nouns in question forms

Which ones are grammatically correct out of the following sentences: Do you know any famous person? Do you know any famous people? Do you do any physical activity for staying in shape? ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

“percentage of population” or “percentages of population” when referring to several countries?

For the following sentence, I am not able to understand whether the singular form of the plural form of the nouns "percentage" and "population" is correct. The bar chart below gives information ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

plural or singular verb after “which”?

There is a sentence lengthiness of which has made me suspicious about whether which play or which plays should be incorporated in the sentence. Special design of park’s designer has been so that ...
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' ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

When should I use “difference” or “differences”?

Dictionaries (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/difference http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/difference) say "difference" can be used both as a countable noun and an ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why we use a singular name “part” instead of “parts” in sentences like what I've mentioned?

I found this sentence as a sample for the word "indispensable" in the Longman dictionary: "Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of our lives." (we say: ...phones have become an ...