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

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1k views

Why can't I say “I have a brown hair”?

Why can't I say, "I have a brown hair," to describe the colour of my hair?
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2answers
118 views

Using plural for two individual objects of the same kind

Assume Einstein conjectured something (in Mathematics) and Zweistein conjectured something slightly stronger (implies Einstein's conjecture). Which one of the following is correct?: (a) Every X ...
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2answers
3k views

Why can't we say “informations”? [closed]

Why we can't put the word information in the plural form? "Give me all the informations you've got", even if it's wrong, sounds more beautiful to my non-native ear than "give me all the information ...
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2answers
332 views

When can you pluralize uncountable nouns?

I have a two part question, the second depending on the answer of the first. I don't know if that is frowned upon, but I'm not sure how else to ask. Foil is an uncountable noun so it is not ...
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3answers
28k views

My family *is* or My family *are*? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular? Which is correct: The rest of the staff is or are? The rest of my family is or are? I've done a bit ...
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3answers
274 views

Is it correct to say “What's the best search tools in windows?”

I saw a question in superuser.com, and the title ran: What’s the fastest desktop search tools you’ve used on Windows? It uses 's with tools, is this correct? Or should it be What's the best tool ...
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1answer
179 views

“The Japanese are a hard-working people.” Is this grammatically correct?

I came across this statement. Is this correct? I am specifically confused at the part where "a" comes after "are".
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1answer
845 views

What is the correct plural form for multiple bachelor degrees? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I am helping a former intern ready their resume for distribution. The candidate used an abbreviation I was unfamiliar ...
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2answers
630 views

If “it is a good read” is correct, is “they are good reads” grammatically correct?

I can describe a book as "a good read." But can I describe a number of books as "good reads?"
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3answers
97 views

Why “magnetic properties”? [closed]

Why do we talk about a material or metal having magnetic properties (as opposed to having a magnetic property)?
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3answers
577 views

'makes' or 'make' for this sentence [closed]

Which sentence is grammatically correct? What are the elements in the poem that make it joyful. or What are the elements in the poem that makes it joyful.
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4answers
821 views

Plural of “a stone's throw away”?

A stone's throw is described as approximately 20 to 25 feet. Does it make sense to describe double that distance as "two stones throws away" or would I have to use some other unit? See also this ...
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4answers
856 views

What is the appropriate question tag for sentences such as “Neither of you is…”?

Neither of you is going to the show tonight, ____? Should it be isn't he/she? I think the fact that neither of you takes the third-person singular verb is means that a third-person question tag ought ...
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3answers
2k views

“Each” vs. “both”

I have this sentence: Each of the datasets HapMap 6 and CEU HapMap 610 is stored in two schemas. Background: a schema is a namespace within a database. Possible variations include: [Each ...
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2answers
139 views

Is single usage of “personality” in “Multiple Personality” jargon or correct English?

Should not the "personality" have been pluralized in "Multiple Personality Disorder"? Is the single usage of "personality" with prepending "multiple" a professional jargon or it is the correct ...
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2answers
16k views

How do you show possession with the word “year” (“year's” vs.“years”)?

So, I develop for a company that does workplace-surveys. And one of our report-formats has just been translated into English. And with it a description on how to read the reports. This description ...
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2answers
269 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?
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1answer
144 views

Subject–verb agreement not clear in “Is two bars OK?”

Is the following correct? Can I get some chocolate for myself? Yes, you can but not much. Is two bars OK? Is there any rule to explain the sentence above? The dialogue's taken from Grammar ...
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2answers
838 views

“This paper, combined with some glue” — singular or plural?

If I have an item, combined with another item, is it still a singular subject in the sentence? For example: This paper, combined with some glue, makes for an afternoon of art projects. This ...
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2answers
4k views

When to use conclusion and conclusions in a scientific article or report?

I am writing a scientific report in English. For the final part, should I use conclusion or conclusions? I am a bit confused because in my memory it's an uncountable noun. But I saw many journal ...
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4answers
3k views

“The efforts involved” vs. “the effort involved”

…this we are doing proactively in order to have a better understanding at coming up with an estimate in case you want to know the effort involved. Should I go with "efforts" or "effort" in the ...
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2answers
617 views

Verb agreement of “heaps”/“lots”: uncountable nouns

I am a non-native English speaker and I recently started noticing that most people do not do the correct agreement of the verb with the noun when saying "there is"/"there was"/"here is". They say, for ...
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2answers
2k views

Is “fireworks” singular or plural?

As I understand, when referring to a single concept, one would use "ham and cheese is", but "fruit and nuts are". Now, can one have a single firework, or is/are fireworks simultaneously singular and ...
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2answers
126 views

Relic and relics [closed]

Reliquary is a receptacle, often made of precious metal and richly decorated, in which a religious relic or relics are kept, as a small box, casket, or shrine. In this sentence that I copied from ...
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4answers
3k views

Why use “is” in this sentence "Here is your umbrella and your coat“

The sentence Here is your umbrella and your coat. is from New Concept English. So I presume it is grammatically correct. I also saw sentences like There is an apple and two oranges. So ...
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2answers
16k views

Should I use “make” or “makes” in the following statement?

Should I use make or makes in the following statement: Please explain why your experience and qualifications makes you the best candidate for this position
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4answers
12k views

Which should I use with “neither/nor”: “has” or “have”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”? “Neither Michael nor Albert is correct” or “Neither Michael nor Albert are ...
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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 ...
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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 ?
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2answers
241 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 ...
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1answer
288 views

Should we treat “information” as a plural term in the following context?

I'm writing a thesis on web information extraction. I use the term information a lot in my thesis, but I'm not sure I should treat it as a plural term or singular term. The following are some cases ...
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2answers
76 views

nonsubstantial possessive of a plural - singular or plural? [closed]

Which of the following would be more correct - "The individuals in question completed great things over the course of their employment" or "employments"? We are talking about multiple, unrelated ...
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2answers
596 views

“A majority of those whose family” or “families”

Is "family" both plural and singular? or would I have to say families for the plural form? For example, which of these is the best option: "A majority of those whose family were unaware of their ...
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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 ...
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2answers
4k views

Is “all but one” singular or plural? [closed]

Do you say “All but one person forgets something” or “All but one person forget something”? I'm assuming that if all means five people, for example, then the example can be rewritten as Four people ...
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1answer
717 views

What is the plural of the word “it's”? [closed]

What is the plural of the word "it's"? Perhaps "it'ss" or "it'ses"? Usage: "The paragraph contained three it'ss" Meaning: "The paragraph contained three occurrences of the word, it's"
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1answer
524 views

Is it “fewer than one person” or “less than one person”? [duplicate]

I have been under the impression that the distinction between fewer and less was with countable vs. uncountable nouns. But I've just encountered the claim that it's plural vs. singular. Which is it? ...
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1answer
696 views

Is “make no mistake” a mistake?

Is "make no mistake" proper grammar? Isn't "no" being used as a quantifier? Aren't quantified nouns supposed to be plural when the quantity is none? For example, I was taught to say, "one egg" and ...
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1answer
597 views

Should the word “commission” be used in singular or plural in these cases?

I don't know what would be grammatically correct, commission or commissions, in the following sentences: We will pay you commission(s) for each client you refer to us. You can track your ...
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2answers
163 views

When talking about many things that all have one thing, do you use the plural or singular?

If you have something like: Get the name(s) of all users. Should name be singular or plural? The way I see it, each user has only one name, so it could be singular, but you will be getting many ...
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1answer
378 views

“I worked in a chemists” vs “I worked in a chemist's” vs “I worked in a chemist”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Store names & possessive What is the correct grammar for saying that I worked for a chemists (that is, a shop that sells medicine)? Is it I worked in a chemist ...
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2answers
121 views

Is it “the position of particles” or “the positions of particles”?

Having many objects (particles) with one property (position), what is grammatically correct? the particles' position the particles' positions It should be noted, that it is possible for one ...
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5answers
382 views

Is singular or plural standard for state of none of something? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: There are no comments / There is no comment Which of these is more standard? There are no balls in the room. There is no ball in the room. Or if both can be ...
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2answers
3k views

“Menu of services include” or “…includes”?

I'm not sure about the pluralization here: menu of services includes or menu of services include Which is correct?
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1answer
380 views

Singular form of the biblical magi

I was working on a crossword puzzle with the clue bearer of gold, frankincense, or myrrh. I immediately thought that the answer is obviously either "magi" or "wise man," but then realized that the ...
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2answers
47 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
130 views

Use of plural pronoun to avoid mentioning of gender

I'm aware that (at least today's) English allows the use of a plural pronoun to avoid mentioning a gender of the subject. Example: _"Everybody can do what they want to" instead of "Everybody can do ...
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1answer
38 views

How to correctly use the plural form of genus (genera)?

For example: Cercis, canna and catalpa are all genera of flowers – just doesn't sound right. How should it be used correctly? Thanks.
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1answer
88 views

Is it proper to say “I earned -1 points today” when I lost 1 point?

Suppose I play a game where I can lose points as well as gain them. Usually I'll say: I earned 10 points today, hooray! But what if I lost points and still want to use "optimistic" verb? I ...