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I am comparing males with females and young adults (18 to 44 years) and adults (45 to 65 years). I want to say:

  1. The group difference based on gender and age is very small.

  2. The group differences based on gender and age are very small.

Which of the above is correct?

I am particularly concerned with "difference" versus "differences".

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closed as general reference by Matt E. Эллен, Kris, Mahnax, kiamlaluno, Mitch Jun 1 '12 at 0:07

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

That would depend on how many differences there are. If there is only one, the use difference otherwise use differences – Matt E. Эллен May 14 '12 at 9:17
Assuming there was a difference because of gender and a difference because of age, you have differences. So I would use your second sentence. (Is the word "group" needed? Could you say, "The differences based on gender and age are very small."?) – JLG May 14 '12 at 12:00
You will have to come back with a more clearly set out question, with background information and context, that is expressed in simple, proper English. It is not clear what the Q. is. Voting to close. – Kris May 14 '12 at 13:16
@Kris - the question is quite clear, using simple words, and proper grammar. What's wrong with it? – dj18 May 14 '12 at 13:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you're measuring one variable, use difference. If you're measuring multiple variables, use differences.

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Elementary, my dear Watson! – Kris May 14 '12 at 17:49

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