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In the online game Travian, the following sentence is used:

Your barracks is finished. A good step towards world domination.

Shouldn’t it instead be:

  • Your barracks are finished.


  • Your barrack is finished.
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up vote 13 down vote accepted

"Barracks" can be either singular or plural.

Plural in the context of "one barrack, two barracks," etc.

But "barracks" could also refer to a COMPLEX of military installations. In that case, "your barracks is finished," means "your military complex is finished," singular.

Yes, it's "computergamese."

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No, oddly enough, barracks is a singular as well as a plural. Barrack exists, but only in barrack block, one constituent of a barracks, or metaphorical contexts such as 'a gloomy barrack of a place'. And many computer games allow you to put a Barracks (and, e.g. a Temple) in each of your cities: I would think "Your Barracks are finished" would mean you have one in each city, similar to "Your Temples are finished".

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Here's an excerpt with a barracks was and the barracks is in two consecutive sentences for any who still doubt. – FumbleFingers Jul 26 '11 at 14:01
Since this seems to have drawn interest: a barracks, to the military mind, is not a military base, but a compound where troops live, typically comprising a mess hall, an ablutions block, and several large dormitory/kit storage buildings. Each of these is a barrack, but to avoid confusion the plural is generally barrack blocks or barrack-rooms – TimLymington Jul 27 '11 at 10:03

In United States Army usage a barracks is one building. It is equipped with beds, wall lockers, footlockers and a latrine, or bathroom, but not dining facilities. Soldiers live there. One building, a barracks usually housing one platoon of soldiers, is never called a barrack.

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