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What is the grammatical difference between "copies of documents" and "copy of documents"?

Same applies to other nouns. Also, an example will be very much appreciated.

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copy of documents is 1 copy of (the) documents. copies of documents is multiple copies of (the) documents. –  Kristina Lopez Apr 25 '13 at 17:50
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"Copies of documents" implies multiple copies of a batch or batches of documents. It isn't very clear if they mean one set of documents or multiple sets all copied multiple times.

"Copy of documents" is a bit clearer and implies a single copy of one batch of documents.

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Thank you for your answers. Here's where I am coming from, I have 3 separate documents and I need a copy for each. Which one should I use, the "copies of documents" or "copy of documents"? –  Zeus Apr 25 '13 at 17:58
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@Zeus,copy of documents for your situation. –  Raghav Apr 25 '13 at 18:20
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The key is that you need a copy of each and I assume by that you mean ONE copy of each. In that case, since you say the 3 documents are separate or unrelated, you would be making 'a copy of the documents.' –  mattacular Apr 25 '13 at 20:48
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If "copy of documents" is used as subject, the verb obviously will be singular; but this violates the the sense of pluralism that documents imply. The best course is to say "copies of documents one each" and use plural verb.

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