Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Someone told me that the word nature should not be plural in my sentence. I would argue, however, that it is obvious that it requires an "s". The problematic sentence is as follow:

We must exploit constraints of different natures (temporal, logical, etc.) [...]

If I replace the word nature by type, type would be plural. However, if I am correct, the word nature is a case similar to the word information. In French, I would put an s to the word information in this sentence:

There is a lot of information to process

Can someone help me clarify this? Is there a simple and general rule for the words like information and nature? When must they be plural?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Singletons -- things of which there are only one -- are not usually pluralized.

If you were using nature in the sense of "the material world, excluding human activities" there is only one, and it could not be pluralized.

However your meaning is that of a "kind, sort, or character" which certainly can be pluralized.

share|improve this answer
2  
I think the confusion here comes because the word is being used with two different definitions. –  Jay Jun 20 '12 at 20:35

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.