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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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That would depend on how many differences there are. If there is only one, the use difference otherwise use differences –  Matt 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
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closed as general reference by Matt 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.

1 Answer

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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