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

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24
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the proper plural form of 'apparatus'?

Dictionary.com claims that the plural of 'apparatus' is 'apparatuses'. Surely that can't be right... isn't it 'apparati'?
1
vote
1answer
7k views

“The committee has” vs. “the committee have” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? I have two statements like this: The committee has approved expenditure of hundred crores. The ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Parenthetical pluralization of words ending in “-y”

Sentences constructed with a word written in the singular and parenthetically in the plural are straightforward when that word does not end in -y, e.g.: List all applicable employee(s). How does ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

View “Content” or “Contents”

We're providing a web service where users can create topics and categories. A category can either just be a list of topics or have authored content(s) in addition to a list of subtopics. It is ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Should I use “grid connectivity” or “grid connectivities”?

I am confused whether I should use connectivity or connectivities in the following sentence: This processor analyzes the statuses of various switches and circuit-breakers in the system and ...
2
votes
3answers
38 views

“there were enough room” or “there was enough room”

Which is the correct verb, should it be singular or plural? 1.) "There were enough room." or 2.) "There was enough room."
12
votes
5answers
33k views

Is using “fruits” as the plural of “fruit” acceptable?

I've always understood the plural of fruit to be fruit, not fruits. I was looking at some marketing material and they used the word "fruits" in the following context: A unique infusion made with ...
29
votes
8answers
27k views

Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What is the plural of “hair” when it refers to the hair of multiple people?

I understand that "hairs" is plural when talking about multiple hairs, as in "my hairs have split ends", and that "hair" is singular when talking about ones collection of hairs, such as "my hair is ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is walri not the correct pluralization of walrus?

Why is walri not the correct pluralization of walrus?
4
votes
10answers
459 views

Here's — Plurality Question

A phrase I came across tonight was "Here's the good news and the bad news." Trouble is, "Here's" means "Here is", and "is" is meant for one thing, not two things. I'm describing two things. However, ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Is “Here's some tips” correct? [duplicate]

If I say "here's some tips", is that correct? Doesn't sound right to me. I would have thought it should be "here are some tips".
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Subject–object agreement: which of these sentences is correct?

Corporations may not have a conscience, but they do have PR departments. Corporations may not have consciences, but they do have PR departments. Corporations may not have a conscience, but ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

“Led Zeppelin was” vs. “Led Zeppelin were” [duplicate]

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. (Source.) Is "were" really the right word here? It feels like it should be "was". After reading the answers and my own ...
-1
votes
2answers
68 views

Plural of “lemma”? [closed]

Lemma is the singular form. What is the plural of lemma? Is there a word lemmas? Can I use lemma as a plural form?
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Is “performance” singular or also plural?

When I have to use information and performance I'm always confused. However, I'm asking whether when I'm referring to more than one piece of information of performance I should use ...
0
votes
3answers
70 views

How can this sentence be corrected to be more concise and grammatically correct?

Is the following sentence grammatically incorrect because the word "they" is plural when there is only one teacher? How can it be corrected? Thomas may be afraid to speak to the teacher as he ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
13
votes
4answers
13k views

€10 = “ten euro” or “ten euros”?

Which is the correct form: "ten euro" or "ten euros"?
0
votes
3answers
55 views

“Preventing downtime and faults IS/ARE crucial”

Consider the following sentence: Preventing downtime and faults is crucial. Is or are? Why?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the plural of peafowl?

So, “the peacock’s mission is clear: to create as many baby __ as possible.” Dictionary.com is frustratingly vague on this — it says: pea·fowl [pee-foul] noun, plural pea·fowls (especially ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

When uncertain if refering to multiple or single should the plural form or singular form be used?

If asking a question or giving instruction towards a group of objects where the number is unknown (and possibly could be one) what is the correct way to phrase the sentence? Which of the following ...
35
votes
8answers
3k views

Why is there no plural indefinite article?

The takes either a singular or a plural subject. A/an only takes the singular. When we pluralize a noun preceded by an indefinite article, we simply drop the article (sometimes replacing it with ...
7
votes
3answers
67 views

Origin of plurality of “wars” in phrases like “Star Wars”

There are a number of compounds in English of the form "noun wars," e.g. "Star Wars," "mommy wars," "culture wars." Why do these show "wars" in the plural? It seems like normally "wars" would pertain ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

singular/ plural in the attributive

A doll house or a dolls house? Which is correct for the toy? ... There's that thing called Same Sex Couples Act; how about calling it Same Sex Couple Act? The question is - when should I put ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Number agreement when using “(s)” for optional plural

I have a question about the following construction and which instance is correct. Selecting an appropriate study topic(s). Selecting appropriate study topic(s). When it is both singular ...
10
votes
4answers
21k views

What is the plural of “scenario”?

What is the plural of "scenario"? I have always used "scenarios", but have recently come across "scenaria" and "scenarii". Should I be treating it as an Italian or Latin word?
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“Mass communications shapes the world we live in”

I am editing a web page and came across this declaration: Mass communications shapes the world we live in It looks wrong to me, but I am wondering if it should be Mass communication shapes the ...
14
votes
3answers
44k views

Is “everyone” singular or plural?

Which is correct? Everyone were convinced that he would go to the game. Everyone was convinced that he would go to the game. I think it's "was", because "everyone" is singular, but I just ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How to pronounce “users' email”? [closed]

Minutes ago, I was reading an article "Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim rights to read user emails". As usual I was reading it out loud, and I was stuck at "Following the revelation that Microsoft ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Plural nouns used as adjectives

The query might return a list of selected items in a shopping cart, or posts in active forums threads, or whatever your web application needs to retrieve from your database. active forums is ...
7
votes
8answers
33k views

Is “many a times” correct?

I've been doing proofreading on a beta site and there appears to be a typo. Is there any usage of "many a times" that is correct, or is it always wrong to apply a singular "a" to a plural noun?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Neither is or are [duplicate]

Should this be neither is or neither are? Neither of these two books is suitable. Neither of these two books are suitable. Which one is correct?
5
votes
2answers
19k views

“Anyone has” or “anyone have” seen them? [closed]

So I thought I'm sure about this and my instincts say that: "If anyone has seen them .." would be right but then again when I said it like: "If anyone have seen them .." I started thinking which one ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Can a singular noun be used to represent a category of things in a sentence subject?

Specifically, in following sentences, which ones are correct? Elephants are huge. The elephant is huge. An elephant is huge. Elephant is huge. I think 1 and 2 above are correct, but how about 3 ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

Is “statistics” singular or plural?

Statistics shows that people are having fewer children these days! Statistics show that people are having fewer children these days! Which one is grammatical?
4
votes
5answers
327 views

1 in 7 appleS becomeS green? or, 1 in 7 apple becomeS green? or, 1 in 7 appleS become green? [duplicate]

Which of the following is proper grammar usage? 1 in 7 apples becomes green 1 in 7 apple becomes green 1 in 7 apples become green
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Why is “charge” uncountable?

He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee. Why is charge uncountable here? God gave Joshua a charge. In this case, it is countable. I can't find authoritative sources.
0
votes
0answers
15 views

When to use is or are in a sentence listing items [duplicate]

search in records where fixtures; oil; gas or minerals; or timber are located. or search in records where fixtures; oil; gas or minerals; or timber is located.
6
votes
2answers
5k views

“The contents are” or “the contents is”

I have the following sentence: The contents of those zip files are normally installed from the Setup. I found I have to use contents instead of content in the sentence. However, do I have to ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is there a dash between “n-second” [duplicate]

Take the example "one-second interval". Is there a dash between "one" and "second"? Also, should second be plural if I say "three-second/s interval"? Thanks!
-1
votes
2answers
64 views

Why is this incongruity? [closed]

He sat over trays of food with John. They talked over a cup of coffee. Why is there plural in the first sentence and not in the second one?
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Can “cattle” be singular?

I've grown up on a farm, and my dad and his dad, apparently, always used "cattle" to refer to both the singular and plural forms of the domestic bovine. I've always assumed it's how the word "deer" ...
1
vote
3answers
43 views

How do you handle singular/plural for mathematical expressions that evaluate to 1?

I know that it is correct to say There is 1 composition of n. but what if instead of "1", I use an expression that evaluates to 1? For example, what is the grammatical number in these sentences? ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

how the word “trait” is countable

I saw this sentence in a textbook: His physical traits have been given. We know that an abstract or non-physical thing is an uncountable noun. In this sentence the word "trait" means ...
1
vote
4answers
80 views

Multiples of the plural for spectrum

The plural for spectrum is spectra, but when talking about multiple groups of spectra, is it correct to use the word spectras ? How can multiple groups of spectra be referred to in a single word ?
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the plural of “How To”?

On a list of "How To" articles, should the title be "How Tos" or "How To's"? I think "How Tos" is technically correct (no apostrophe for plurals) but it reads like "How Toss" or "How Toes". "How ...
1
vote
5answers
272 views

Verb agreement with two nouns

'Decades of research has/have shown' -decades is plural -research is murky I'd be inclined to write 'has' Thanks in advance Drew
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Italics used for the plural treatment of words? [duplicate]

Do these look right to you? I'm pluralizing the following words. In doing so, I'm italicizing the word to be pluralized but not the 's': ands (instead of and's) wherefores (instead of wherefore's) ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Plural of table leaf

In the context of a table leaf, what is the correct plural term, "table leafs" or "table leaves"?