This tag applies to questions that deal with grammatical number: “singular” versus “plural”, and (rarely) also “dual”.

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1
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1answer
21 views

Apostrophe use in singular (and parenthesized plural) possessive noun(s)

How would one combine the sigular and plural possessive forms of contractor into one form? Like for example contractor’(s’). A friend of mine is busy editing a fairly technical document and arrived ...
2
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3answers
83 views

Person versus People

When is the proper time to use the word "persons" in a sentence instead of using "people"?
9
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2answers
5k views

Why “themselves” and “himself”

In the earliest grades of elementary schools, students learn that "hisself" and "theirselves" are not words. I do not understand why this is. If you wanted to refer to 'his' sock, you would say "his ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Plural modifying noun

Where can I learn about the English rules for noun phrases in which a modifying noun is semantically plural? We say "Horse trainer," not "horses trainer", even though there is usually more than one ...
0
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0answers
27 views

“this, this and this”: plural or singular?

My comment from meta.SO: And finally, the style of bagdes should be the same on this, this, and this page. At the point where I'd say page/pages, am I talking about the group of three pages, or ...
-1
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2answers
42 views

Any singular word ending in 's'?

Singular word that ends in 's' seems to be rare, not counting proper nouns. So far I only know lens. Is there other example?
0
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1answer
30 views

server replication or servers replication

In the title of a paper I'm writing, I want to talk about "replication" of servers, but I'm not sure if the object of replication should be written in singular or plural form. Should I write ...
1
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1answer
39 views

Grammatical number of compound subjects with indefinite pronouns

Nobody from the Police Department and nobody from the Fire Department is/are going to the rescue. Which verb agreement is grammatical or preferable for other reasons? Similar examples: ...
0
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0answers
30 views

“group have” vs “group has” [duplicate]

Do you say: That group has dogs or That group have dogs I'm not too sure which one is right. I'm just confused because I'm not sure whether the word, group, is plural or not
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

Problem in 'talking to a lot of people' [on hold]

I told my friend that "I am talking to a lot of people" and he said this sentence is not correct. Can anyone help me find out what's wrong with the following sentence: "Talking to a lot of people"
1
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3answers
136 views

Point[s] of datum vs. point[s] of data

I know that there's no any shortage of controversy about "data" and "datum", but I've recently questioned the validity in the specific case of "I am but a point of data". Is this, under the strict ...
4
votes
1answer
237 views

What is the correct way to pluralize improper fractions?

Say, for example, I'd like to express that I have four complete six-slice pizzas and one with five out of six slices. Would I say "I have 29/6 pizzas"? "4 and 5/6 of a pizza" for mixed fractions?
23
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7answers
16k views

Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?

I have seen people say both 0.25 mile and 0.25 miles. Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?
0
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2answers
47 views

What is the plural for timeout?

In basketball, football, hockey, and many other sport the teams get a set number of timeouts. I was watching a summer league NBA game and there were some stat nerds talking and one referenced that ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Does speed limit become plural when referencing two roads?

When writing about the speed limit on two different roads, is it correct to say, "The speed limits on Hunt Brothers Road and State Road 17 will both be reduced to 45 miles per hour," or "The speed ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

What is the Plural of staff?

i am a teacher and we are in doubt if the plural form of Staff is staffs. we have been debating on this topic.
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

Plural or singular in many nouns expression

What is gramatically correct to say: a specific type of solutions introduces or a specific type of solutions introduce
0
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2answers
51 views

Correct usage: fields of A and B vs fields of A and of B?

I am writing about a scientific article which treats a question on the borderline between two distinctly different research areas, A and B. I need a phrase saying "The work belongs to the field of A ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

“May those hoping to enjoy their future waste none of their present.” Correct?

Is that sentence correct, or would "future" and "present" need to become plural ("futures" and "presents")? Those as plurals sound weird to me. If my original sentence isn't grammatically correct, ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

The first two of ten thousand have been delivered

Does this mean that the first literal two have been delivered? Or does it mean the first two thousand have been delivered?
0
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0answers
24 views

What's the difference between “him/her” and “them”? [duplicate]

Consider this sentence: Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them. What I'd like to understand is why and when should them be used instead of him/her?
-2
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1answer
29 views
0
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1answer
61 views

plural or singular for a single-entry set

There is a term "a set of generalized coordinates" in physics that is used to describe a system. But for some simple systems, the set contains just one generalized coordinate. Can we say, for example, ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should decades (e.g. '70s) be singular or plural

Are specific decades singular or plural? Which of the following is grammatically correct? The '70s was a great period for rock music. or The '70s were a great period for rock music. ...
1
vote
3answers
49 views

“if the majority of the players is honest”, is vs are

A friend of mine came across an academic paper which consistently used the phrase "if the majority of the players is honest....". I'm pretty sure that that "is" ought to be an "are", but it was ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

I'll get you the waters vs I'll get you the water [duplicate]

A waiter says to two customers who ordered two bottles of mineral water. Which should he say? I'll get you the waters vs I'll get you the water I found this page which contains: ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Does “including” change the plural?

When the phrase "including something" is used, will the plural changed? For example: Everyone is required to wear shoes. Everyone, including the staff, is/are required to wear shoes.
1
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2answers
2k views

Functionality vs. Functionalities: are both correct and idiomatic?

To me, inasmuch as use of the word functionality referring to software means the extent of its overall ability, I would write "The software implements the following functionality." However, I've seen ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Do I use 'do' or 'does' in this sentence: 'How do the imagery and/or metaphors used evoke suggestion?'

I'm not sure which verb to use in this sentence - do or does? Your thoughts appreciated! I think the problem is that the verb refers to a singular and plural noun.
1
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3answers
1k views

Is “martini” plural or singular?

Although frequently used incorrectly incorrectly in English, the borrowed Italian word paparazzi should be used for a group, while paparazzo is one intrusive celebrity photographer. The dictionary ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

Is “a group” singular or plural?

I was wondering what number the verb 'to snowboard' should take in the following sentence: A group of men, led by Olympic athlete John Rider, snowboard(s) down the gently sloping hills. Because ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Question tag for “many a …”

Consider the sentence "Many a rose bloomed in the garden." If you had to substitute "many a rose" with a pronoun, what would it be? "Many a ..." takes a singular verb. Does that mean it can be ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Is 'magazine' a singular subject or plural?

If I am referring to a magazine as an entity comprising its editor and staff, is it correct to say, 'The magazine are keen for submissions' or 'The magazine is keen for submissions'? (I'm correcting ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Adjectival noun - singular or plural or both?

If I intend to use a noun as an adjective, can I use the noun both in plural and singular form? e.g. "noun modifier", "Bacon Batch", "A news reporter", "Sports center", "email address" My feeling is ...
4
votes
3answers
107 views

Collective nouns treated as singular and plural in the same sentence

I have a problem with a sentence in a news announcement I'm writing. This is the sentence: 1) Company X is expanding and hires Person Y as their new CEO. I've previously understood that it is ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Why is the plural of “aircraft” not “aircrafts”?

I came along this sentence: Today, we have used a large number of assets, comprising of 34 aircraft, 40 ships, hundreds of men, thousands of man-hours has been deployed I consulted dictionaries ...
1
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2answers
79 views

“States Party to” or “State Parties to” or “States parties to”?

When discussing a treaty or international agreement, which is correct? "There are 100 states party to the treaty." (for example, as used here) Or: "There are 100 state parties to the treaty." (for ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Is using “their hairs” grammatically wrong?

I'm Soumya, an author from India. A reader has challenged me about the use of the word 'hairs' in my book. I have used, 'a few hairs' and that's justified, as hair is a countable noun in that very ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Why do some people pedantically cling to dying word forms (e.g. die, oxen)?

The only times I have ever heard the word "die" to refer to one dice are from my mother, and from my primary school English teacher. Every person I ever hear always says, "give me a dice" if they want ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Two plural nouns in a row [duplicate]

When I put two plural nouns in a row, should I use plural form for both? Often, when I do so, it seems wrong. Examples can be: "components reliabilities" - referring to reliabilities of many ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

Is there a situation where an accepted uninflected plural variant is not available?

When would you use fishes instead of fish? The same goes for fruits and any other word where a different plural form exists but the singular is most commonly used for plural. I am looking for a ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Use of apostrophe in a mixed singular-plural context [duplicate]

This isn't my homework. This came up during a friendly debate last night with my mom. What would be the correct use of the apostrophe and/or plural in the sentence One of my friend(s) house(s) is on ...
1
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1answer
25 views

Is it endless “length” or “lengths” of cable?

It seems more natural to say endless "lengths" of cable rather than endless "length" of cable. Why do we need to make it plural?
0
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2answers
38 views

Ownership by other people, but not a collective

How do we write the possessive form for "people?" For instance, let's say that I manage money for other people. The people are individuals, here, not a collective (a people). Which is correct, and ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Is the word “women's” a typo?

My browser's spellcheck says it is, but I can't figure out why. Is Firefox sexist?
1
vote
1answer
31 views

“is” or “are” with “fewer”?

Which one is correct? (Or is neither?) This field can contain 30 characters, fewer is recommended. This field can contain 30 characters, fewer are recommended.
0
votes
2answers
25 views

middleware vs middlewares

I am contributing at an open source project, and we got a message (https://github.com/gin-gonic/gin/issues/252) about our grammar at source code and documentation (we are not native english speakers). ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

The transport of cargo / cargoes?

I say "the transport of beer", in which "beer" seems to be correctly referring to either a single beer or, more likely, the liquid in general. Saying "the transport of box" is obviously incorrect, ...
6
votes
2answers
71 views

'One out of three people thinks' or 'one out of three people think'? [duplicate]

Could someone please explain to me which of these sentences is correct and why? Only one out of three respondents (29%) thinks otherwise. Only one out of three respondents (29%) think ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Plural form after “with” (common property of multiple objects)

When I describe several objects with a common property, do I denote that property in the plural like: several samples with large surface areas or do I use the singular form, since it's one ...