61 votes

What does `'s` mean in "What CPU's will it run on?"?

It's one way of showing plurals that is used with acronyms. It's widely-used, but whether it is correct is the subject of debate. It may be best to avoid its use in formal or professional documents. ...
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  • 5,542
55 votes
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Why is "aircrafts" bad English, while "crafts" is okay?

"Craft" is one of those words that has several very different meanings. "Craft" could mean "skilled work" or "hobby". In this case, the plural is "crafts" - such as in "arts and crafts". "Craft" can ...
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  • 1,549
49 votes
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How to write a plural form of 'ex' (ex girlfriend..etc)

We form the plurals of regular nouns ending in the sound /s/ by adding the sound /ɪz/ to the word. So for the word bus, /bʌs/, we get the plural form /bʌsɪz/. In writing we represent this with the ...
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46 votes
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Is "series" Plural or Singular?

"Series" can be singular or plural depending on context. Both of your sentences are therefore correct but different. I like to watch TV series. uses series as a plural and means you like to watch ...
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  • 2,291
45 votes

What does `'s` mean in "What CPU's will it run on?"?

Punctuation is a matter of style. Here, 's is almost certainly used to pluralize the initialism CPU, but whether this is appropriate depends on which style manual you, your editor, or your ...
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  • 17.5k
38 votes
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Construction of “females representatives”

You have certainly found a typographical error. That you found multiple examples is testament not to its correctness, but only to the frequency of the phrase "female representatives" and to the ...
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34 votes

What is the plural of octopus?

Some English words borrowed directly from other languages retain the plural form of the other language. For example, fermata is pluralized as fermate, and cirrhosis becomes cirrhoses. The most ...
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  • 17.5k
30 votes

Why is "aircrafts" bad English, while "crafts" is okay?

I think there is a distinction to be drawn here which will allow you to avoid confusion; namely: the noun "craft" has several meanings, while "aircraft" has only one. The meaning you are focused on ...
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  • 2,455
30 votes

Is it grammatically correct to use "them" with hair?

No, use "it" for sentences where we talk about somebody's entire head of hair. Use "them" for sentences about a small well-defined group of hairs, or about seperate hairs, in case ...
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  • 567
29 votes
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Why are there three pronunciations for the plural "-s"?

TLDR The short answer is that there are certain rules regarding what kind of sound sequences are possible in English, if we used a single pronunciation for the -s endings in every situation, we would ...
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  • 17.6k
28 votes
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Why "was" not "were" in "Nearly £20 was taken from my bank account"

Because phrases that indicate the amount of sum, time, distance, weight, temperature, etc. are treated as singular: 10 million pounds is a lot of money. = This sum is a lot of of money. 50 ...
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28 votes

Why are there so many specific words for groups of animals?

Most of the group names on that list aren't general knowledge or in everyday use. If you want an even longer list that includes the terms for the male and female members of the species along with the ...
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  • 25.2k
27 votes
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Which one is correct word? People or People's

People is a collective noun. When we talk about a specific group of people, we consider it as singular and therefore, no need to add s. Peoples is used when we talk about two or more different ...
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  • 556
26 votes
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What is the plural form of "magic"?

If you're referring to the idea in general, it's not countable. There's nothing to count. "Someone who practices magic", "friendship is magic", or "magic powers this device" would all fit this pattern....
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  • 9,399
26 votes
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The indefinite article with an amount modified by an adjective: "It cost a mere 20 dollars."

The reason why the first example does not use an article while the two others do is because the first does not refer to a specific amount. If instead of an unspecific number of minutes you were to ...
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  • 877
25 votes

Can candlelight be in plural contrarily to light?

No. To make a lot of light you can have many "lights" (objects that emit light). So the word "light" can be both countable and non-countable, with related but different meaning. ...
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  • 147k
23 votes
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There's vs There are

Here's an edited version of a post I did for ELU on a similar question (which got closed): The existential construction takes there as a subject. There has no meaning, and often the verb takes its ...
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22 votes
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Can we use "former" and "latter" for plural nouns?

Yes, the former and the latter can have plural antecedents, and plural agreement; and no, they do not change form to reflect this. You can find plenty of examples, in well-edited prose from each of ...
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  • 4,140
22 votes
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Plural of belief: beliefs or believes?

Actually they are different. Believe is a verb which is simply used for accepting the truth. Example: He believes that all ​children are ​born with ​equal ​intelligence. In above example the word ...
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  • 1,172
21 votes

Can "all" be used with both singular & plural verbs?

When all is used with a plural noun, it means every, and the verb agrees: All the countries were represented at the games. When all is used with a singular noun, with or without of, it means ...
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  • 6,632
20 votes
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What is a plural of "To-Do"? "To-Dos" or "To-Does"?

In special cases, such as when forming a plural of a word that is not normally a noun, some writers add an apostrophe for clarity. Example: Here are some do's and don'ts. In that sentence, ...
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  • 45.1k
20 votes
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Can candlelight be in plural contrarily to light?

Not really, no. In general, "candlelight" is an uncountable noun, just like "light" is. If you're reading a book by candlelight, it doesn't matter how many candles are generating ...
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  • 2,180
19 votes

Which one is correct word? People or People's

Actually, I think you are looking for the difference between people and peoples. People means indeed a group of humans, as in: The people of Germany speak German. It can also be used as a ...
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  • 24.8k
19 votes
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Singular or plural with "zero": "The temperature will drop to zero degree(s)"

When you use the word zero as a number, the word it quantifies should always, I repeat, always be plural! Example #1: Ice melts at zero degrees Celsius. Example #2: — How many friends do you ...
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19 votes

Is it grammatically correct to use "them" with hair?

In this case you want it, not them. The word hair can be either an uncountable noun (also known as a mass noun) or a countable noun depending on context. You're using it as an uncountable noun in that ...
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18 votes
Accepted

What is the plural of "who"?

“Who” can be made plural the usual way, but that is not what is needed here The “Whos” And “Wheres” Of iOS Device Usage ExplainedSource: TechCrunch headline This is a plural in the sense that it ...
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14 votes
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'An avalanche of mail'? - it should be 'mails', shouldn't it?

Definitely not. Mail is a uncountable noun, as in: "There is a lot of mail in that mailbag." Therefore, it would be an avalanche of mail (but an avalanche of letters). We would say, "Would you ...
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  • 108k
14 votes
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"A patients guide" or "A patient's guide"?

You need an apostrophe to mark a possessive case here. However, the possessive case doesn't refer to ownership in such examples, instead it refers to the meaning "is intended for": A patient's guide ...
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  • 24.3k
13 votes

Formally can money be in a plural form (monies) or not?

In ordinary usage, nouns like "milk" and "water" are uncountable.  There are times, however, when such words do have a countable sense.  For example, cows produce a different milk than ...
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