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. ...
LMS's user avatar
  • 5,552
55 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Matt Cline's user avatar
  • 1,549
49 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
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 ...
choster's user avatar
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44 votes
Accepted

In the sentence "She says she has no friends," the number of friends is zero, why is "friends" still plural?

It's just that the normal expectation is she would have several friends. We use the singular in contexts like He has no wife, or I have no car. We tend to use "do-support" or "got-...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
42 votes

In the sentence "She says she has no friends," the number of friends is zero, why is "friends" still plural?

The rule is not "two or more". The rule is "not equal to one". Zero takes a plural verb. "Zero books are on the shelf", NOT "Zero books is on the shelf." ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 65.6k
38 votes
Accepted

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 ...
P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica's user avatar
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 ...
RichF's user avatar
  • 2,485
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 ...
kngram's user avatar
  • 561
29 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Void's user avatar
  • 18.1k
28 votes
Accepted

Which one is the 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 ...
Sukanya C's user avatar
  • 566
27 votes
Accepted

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....
Nathan Tuggy's user avatar
  • 9,513
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 ...
AngelPray's user avatar
  • 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. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
21 votes

Which one is the 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 ...
oerkelens's user avatar
  • 25k
21 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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, ...
Em.'s user avatar
  • 45.4k
20 votes
Accepted

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 ...
nick012000's user avatar
  • 2,226
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 ...
T.J. Crowder's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

"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 ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
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 ...
Gary Botnovcan's user avatar
11 votes

What is the plural form of "magic"?

Alan and Nathan have both answered this, I'm only adding some references Magic is, indeed, an uncountable noun. However, an instance of magic is singular and so has often been made plural with the ...
PerryW's user avatar
  • 2,619
11 votes

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

Although Money is a mass noun, and therefore doesn't NEED a plural form, Garner and The Cambridge Guide to English Usage explain that Monies is usually used by legal or finance writers to talk about “...
Hank's user avatar
  • 484
10 votes

When do I REALLY need to pronounce an s as a z?

We do indeed need to pronounce plural, 3rd person and possessive S as described in the Original Posters question. In other words it is realised as an /s/ after unvoiced consonants, and as a /z/ in ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Plural and singular nouns: do "A cat is an animal" and "Cats are animals" mean the same thing?

A cat is an animal. Cats are animals. The meaning of these two statements is, essentially, the same. Of course, "a cat" is singular, and "cats" is plural. In most contexts, "...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 101k
9 votes

a computer vs computers

If you say I can use the computer It means that you can use one particular computer- one that has been referred to previously in the conversation. I can use a computer If you change the to a, ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 59.6k
9 votes

"A patients guide" or "A patient's guide"?

If you use the S, it must be "A patient's guide", which implies that the guide is possessed by a specific patient, or "Patients' guide", which implies that the guide is for multiple patients. I would ...
Jim MacKenzie's user avatar
9 votes

Plural noun and collective noun regarded collectively

Three people have two pencils. This is ambiguous. My first thought is that each of the three has two pencils for a total of six pencils, which is not what you mean. A group of three people has two ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 21.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Is it 'garment' or 'garments' when referring to trousers/pants?

Lexico says garment NOUN An item of clothing. Lexico also says trousers PLURAL NOUN An outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg. which shows ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 16.4k

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