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Can I use Cost savings in the following sentence as a singular term?

Cost savings is often seen with these program.

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Unrelated to the specific point of your question, but I thought I'd mention it: It should be these programs or this program. –  Dusty Dec 7 '11 at 23:19

1 Answer 1

The word savings, like clothes or thanks, is a plural and must take a plural verb:

His clothes are all over the bedroom floor.

His savings are in a Swiss bank account.

I'm not overly familiar with the context and usage of the term cost savings, but I assume it conforms to this convention.

Cost savings for this quarter are the largest we've had for years.

Contrast this with other nouns which may appear to be plural but are in fact singular, such as athletics or mathematics:

Mathematics is my favourite subject.

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I'll note that in American English, it's fairly common for savings to be treated as a singular noun. A savings of $20 is quite a lot, etc. –  Dusty Dec 7 '11 at 23:24
    
@Dusty: Quite true, as noted in your links above. But you'll find very few instances of that usage being extended to a cost savings –  FumbleFingers Dec 7 '11 at 23:55
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@Dusty, thanks, I admit to having heard that term used also (here in Australia). But I would say that 'savings' in that context is being used incorrectly; it should probably be 'A saving of $20 ...' –  Snubian Dec 8 '11 at 0:13
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@Snubian: "A saving of $20 ..." sounds much worse to this American than "A savings of $20 ..."; To me, that's like fixing the bad grammar in "buy a clothes" by changing it to "buy a cloth". I would recommend "Savings of $20", keeping it plural and dropping the article. But even in American English, without any dollar amount, "Cost savings" should definitely be plural. –  Peter Shor Dec 8 '11 at 0:23
    
@PeterShor, I understand where you're coming from, but 'Savings of $20 is quite a lot' sounds worst of all to me. I would say that the fact is 'saving' is singular and 'savings' is plural. This dictates the verb that follows. You could say A saving of $20 is ... or Savings of $20 are ... –  Snubian Dec 8 '11 at 0:26

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