When one says I was washing my hair, is it singular or plural? What is the singular for hair?
This seems to be one of those plural issues where a different plural is used when referring to the large uncountable group. "I found 3 gray hairs this morning" is proper but so is "I washed my hair this morning".
In the second case, your entire head covered with individuals hairs is treated as a single object or group which is why it is referred to in a singular form.
The word hair in some cases is a collective noun, and in other cases is not a collective noun.
As reported from the NOAD, the meaning of the word is:
In most of the phrases, the word used is hair; in some cases is hairs (to split hairs).
Neither, it is collective, meaning that 'hair' in this context refers to all your hair.
The noun hair is a singular, plural, or collective noun. It all depends on the context of the sentence.
In your sentence,
I was washing my hair.
the noun hair is the collective. It is also the case in:
I have my hair cut.
It is singular in following sentences.
I found a hair in my soup.
It is plural in the following sentences.
There are dog hairs on the sofa.
I think both hair and hairs are right because the sentence "I pulled out some hairs" would be right and "She has a head full of hair" works too, so I think both hair and hairs work that it just depends on the context clues of the sentence.
protected by Will Hunting Mar 22 '12 at 21:40
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