0
votes
2answers
218 views

“big cheers” and “a big cheer”

Can I say "Please give your children big cheers at the playing field? Or should I say "Please give your children a big cheer?" Do these mean different things?
3
votes
2answers
172 views

What does “the little guy” in “(Larry Summers) would be an enthusiastic enforcer of bank regulation to protect the little guy” mean?

In New York Times’ (August 13) article titled, “Summers of our discontent,” Maureen Dowd manifests her objection to the possible nomination of Larry Summers by President Obama by asking, “Does the ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

Grand (as in parents) — singular or plural?

In his song "White Wine in the Sun", Tim Minchin sings I'll be seeing ... my grand and my Mum. This apparently stands for grandparents, but what is the 'default' visualization of that word ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Is it incorrect to refer to a set of things by using the singular form of the objects it contains? [duplicate]

I'm sorry I couldn't word that better, the following example will hopefully clarify: As you can see, the teacher refered to the bank of words as "word bank", as opposed to "words bank". Which one ...
-2
votes
4answers
339 views

“Music preference” or “music preferences”?

What is the difference between preference and preferences? Does it matter if one uses singular or plural in the following sentences: The effect of music on test-taking ability greatly depends ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

“A good memory” vs. “good memories”

If I say, "I don't have a good memory of my childhood", would it imply that I cant recollect it or that I have bad memories (bad stories, unhappy) childhood? I think that "good memories" implies the ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

“Communications In English for Engineers” — what does it exactly mean?

A lecture at my university is titled "Communications In English for Engineers". Somebody from my year stated that 'communications' (in plural) relate to telecommunication and generally ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

'Their' singular or plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? 'Their' is a third person plural; however, ...
4
votes
1answer
319 views

When and why do I have to use singular and plural nouns following “No”?

For example: No student goes to school today. No students go to school today. When and why do I have to use singular and plural nouns following "No"?
4
votes
3answers
11k views

“A number of students” vs. “the number of students” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A number of questions “has been” or “have been” asked? From the grammatical view both are correct, but please explain the difference in meaning: ...
2
votes
2answers
24k views

“Food” vs. “foods” — spelling and meaning [closed]

I've been looking around the Internet. Some websites say that foods is incorrect but others say it is correct.
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Usage of the word “memory”

I came across this question, but I do not find the answer to what's bothering me. Can memory be used to refer to a particular piece of your past experience that you remember well? E.g.: I have a ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the plural of 'sorry'? [closed]

One apology --> many apologies. One good deed --> many good deeds. One sorry --> many _ ?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Plural Possessive of a Singular Noun

While browsing this SE site, I stopped to look at the "What kind of questions can I ask here?" section of the FAQ, where the following is written: Questions on the following topics are welcomed ...
3
votes
1answer
371 views

Letters after a number, such as 1st

Is there a name for letters that follow a number, such as the "st" in 1st or "nd" in 2nd?
6
votes
5answers
282 views

About using singular as food

Consider the following : He likes dogs. He likes dog. (1) would mean he likes dogs as pets and (2) refers to dog as food. My question is, does the same apply to nouns such as orange and ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

What is the meaning of “personnel”? What is its plural form?

From Wordweb: Group of people willing to obey orders The department responsible for hiring and training and placing employees and for setting policies for personnel management The two are kind of ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What’s the meaning of “there are more of somebody than there are of somebody”?

Their yellowish eyes were fixed upon Harry’s wand, and they looked scared. There might be a lot more of them than there were of him but Harry could tell, by the looks on their faces, that they knew ...
9
votes
3answers
15k views

“Criteria” versus “criterion”

I came across several forums and articles saying that criteria is plural and criterion is singular. Some gave me the impression that criterion is used to denote a set of rules. What is the correct ...
2
votes
4answers
342 views

How do you understand “I have to change my file names”?

If I say: I have to change my file names. What does an English speaker understand? "I have to change names of a single file." "I have to change names of many files." What is the rule here?