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

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1answer
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“Four years are” vs. “four years is” [duplicate]

An exam question is driving me crazy. Find the mistake in the following: Four years are a long time to spend away from family and friends. Literally everyone solved it by replacing are with ...
3
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2answers
992 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."
3
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1answer
320 views

Singular/plural in “no X since” vs “no Xs since”

I commented against an earlier question “No A or B” vs. “Neither A nor B” that in contexts such as The system has had no error since 2013 native speakers would invariably use the plural errors. As I ...
3
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1answer
7k views

Organisation - singular or plural? [duplicate]

In formal (not colloquial) English, is an organisation such as a sports club singular, plural, or is it discretionary? E.g. is it preferable to write "The X club WAS formed" or "The X club WERE ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Usage of “is” with “and” [duplicate]

I am confused in using this sentence. "Code in SVN and Test case document is updated accordingly." I am thinking of using are instead because "Code" here is a set of Source Code files and "Test ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Singular or Plural Before List? [duplicate]

I'm trying to write a list of features available in my product, and I'm confused what the title should be: Should I say "Features List" (features are plural) or "Feature List" (feature is singular). ...
3
votes
1answer
567 views

Origin of plurals and possessives

What is the origin of English plurals and possessives? English plurals look more French plurals, but I am not sure that is where they come from. As for possessives, I don't know where they come from.
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2answers
23k views

I am so confused by, for example, “People love their life or lives.”

I am always confused by these tricky-in my opinion-ones as below. For example, People love their life or lives. Girls always love their boyfriend or boyfriends. People think of their college or ...
3
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2answers
1k views

English word conjugation rules

I am a programmer whose most recent project involves Natural Language Parsing and I need to be able to conjugate English Verbs and Nouns. I already have a list of Verb Irregulars but I am struggling ...
3
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1answer
3k views

How to write the “plural of plural”?

I'm always confused how to write a "something of something else" in English, especially when plural is involved. For example, what would be the correct way to write the following sentences in English: ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Use of the plural with list, and when item count is 0 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “user accounts” or “users account”? I keep asking myself which form is the most correct when listing items on a website: "Article list" or "...
3
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1answer
68 views

“depending on something” … singular or plural

I'm writing a paper in which the experimental results with two different antibodies are compared across different brain regions. I want to write something like: We used antibodies A and B for ...
3
votes
2answers
471 views

What is the plural of status quo?

A quick search suggests that status quos is most common pluralization of status quo. This form, however, is deeply unsatisfying. Clearly, status is the noun in this phrase, while quo is some sort of ...
3
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1answer
76 views

How to Pluralize a Proper Noun That Already Has a “'s” In It

How does one pluralize a proper noun that already has an apostrophe in its singular form? for example, McDonalds'... How would I say there are three McDondald's in California? Please note: I am ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Why is “I believe in woman” ok? Or isn't it? (from Slade's “My Oh My”)

This first line of the song is I believe in woman, my oh my. I'm not a native speaker, but that sounds odd to me. I'd either expect women (I believe in women [in general]) or some kind of determiner (...
3
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1answer
86 views

“The damage to the heart and liver are permanent”: why plural?

In episode 11 of season 5 on House M.D. Dr. Cuddy says to the patient: The damage to the heart and liver are permanent. Is it correct? Shouldn't it be is permanent since it refers to the word ...
3
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1answer
142 views

You'll see them in future “as it is” OR “as they are”?

Let all the boxes be "as they are" OR "as it is"? Thanks for reading..
3
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1answer
95 views

Can more options use “is”

So I've been learning German on Duolingo (great app by the way if you want to learn a language). I know you guys don't want translations here, but this is more about the English. Of course, not all ...
3
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2answers
236 views

Which person do I have to use when I use parenthesis

You (or someone else responsible) have/has to be there tomorrow. Which person should I use? 2nd or 3rd? My opinion is that both should be correct, but I'd like this to be clarified. How about if ...
3
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2answers
23k views

“Is there any news” or “are there any news”? [duplicate]

Which is better? Which is grammatically correct? Is there any news about my candidacy? Are there any news about my candidacy?
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3answers
730 views

Why can't we use the plural in “Mt. Fuji is higher than any other mountains in Japan”? [closed]

These are two sentences that I have a question about. Mt. Fuji is higher than any other mountains in Japan. Mt. Fuji is higher than any other mountain in Japan. I know the second ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Is it “the xᵢ’s” or “the xᵢ”?

Let x1, . . . , xn be a collection of mathematical objects. When I refer to them, do I have to say the xi’s or just the xi? Edit: In this article (written by an American mathematician), one can ...
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2answers
279 views

Is what you “transcend” singular or plural?

I'm working on making changes to some text for a project that I'm on. One of the proposed changes is to the following: [He] has fostered creative environments that attract diverse talent who ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Are both “foodstuff” and “foodstuffs” valid?

I suppose that I could probably summarize that to "Is foodstuff a mass or count noun?" but I wasn't entirely certain if that would get me the wrong answer. I've always used "foodstuffs" when referring ...
3
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1answer
904 views

“Compound nouns list” or “compound noun list”?

I couldn't help but wonder every time I saw such a noun phrase. I've seen both forms used equally often, so I guess both of them can be used interchangeably. But do I guess right? Some examples: ...
3
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1answer
862 views

Quantity for abbreviations of plural terms

I have two questions which I think are so closely related that they should be grouped together. Quantity for an abbreviation that stands for a plural Context: The author is trying to explain what ...
3
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3answers
694 views

Irregular plurals. Leathermans or Leathermen?

Which plural do you use for a word that should have a regular plural but ends with a word that has its own irregular one? The example that made me ask was "leatherman" (the multitool) but there are ...
3
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4answers
95 views

the likes of which has/have

1)The corporeal, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual sides of human life have all been stirred by the hurricane the likes of which has never been seen in the history of the Earth. From The ...
3
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1answer
52 views

What is the plural of the abbreviation of “multiplicity automaton”, “MA” or “MAs”?

The "multiplicity automaton (MA)" is a model in compute science and its plural is "multiplicity automata". Should the plural of the abbreviation be MA or MAs? What is the correct way to pluralize ...
3
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3answers
50 views

Can I use “any” with an object expressed in plural?

Which one is correct? "Any letter" "Any letters" Let me provide the context: "Are there any letters in the post box?"
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3answers
110 views

What's the proper answer to the question “Is Eri's host family kind to her?” [duplicate]

A friend of mine is an Assistant Language Teacher at a junior high school in Japan. The textbook for the grade eight class has the question "Is Eri's host family kind to her?" If I were to answer ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

when writing a noun that shows a parenthetical plural suffix option, is it, “policy(ies)” or policy(s)"? [duplicate]

When writing a noun that shows a parenthetical plural suffix option, which is acceptable, "policy(ies)" or policy(s)" ?
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1answer
402 views

Equivalent of using (s) to indicate possible plural for words using “ies” for plural? [duplicate]

If I want to write how many of something I have that uses "s" to indicate plural, I can use (s), as in "Joe had X apple(s)". But say I want to write something like "The report contains 2 entries" or "...
3
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1answer
168 views

Singular possessive apostrophe for name ending in “s” [duplicate]

Creating some copy and want to make sure singular possessive name is correct... If I have a name of an animal, Jaws, would correct grammar be, Jaws' Laws?
3
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1answer
184 views

“Any question” versus “any questions” [duplicate]

What is the proper use of question versus questions. For example, "Please call me with any question (or questions) you may have." My boss and I are having an argument over this.
3
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2answers
268 views

“The best (and one of very few) website[s]”

Stack Exchange is the best (and one of very few useful) question-and-answer websites in the world. In this statement, should it be website (where "best" overrules "one of very few") or websites (...
3
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1answer
3k views

“Set of techniques”; singular or plural? [duplicate]

I have an English course book that contains this question: Fill in the blank "The book is a set of techniques that systematically __ the learner for interaction with target language speakers". (A) ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Use of plural with “respectively” when referring to a property

If you are referring to one property but are giving the respective values for two different things do you use the singular or plural form? Can the property be treated as a mass noun so that it takes ...
3
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1answer
106 views

“Not only my husband but also my son is a doctor” [duplicate]

Starting to review grammar. It's a little confusing for me to identify which is the correct one. Not only my husband but also my son is a doctor. Someone said that it must be doctors because ...
3
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2answers
726 views

Are two singular nouns together singular or plural?

I'm writing a research paper with several classmates for school. However, there's a sentence that we, as well as others who have reviewed our paper, disagree with on how to write. Which sentence is ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Is it “the humanities” or just “humanities”?

I.e., would I use "I hate the humanities" or "I hate humanities"? On that note, would the complementary statement be "I love the sciences" or "I love science"? "I love sciences" just sounds wrong, ...
3
votes
2answers
656 views

“This date and time is” vs. “this date and time are”

The following sentence appears in a letter I am editing: If this date and time are not convenient please contact me at ... Structurally, this seems okay, but it feels very awkward. Shouldn't it ...
3
votes
2answers
985 views

Singular action for a plural subject

Consider the following: I pull my ear. He pulls his ear. She pulls her ear. What would be the correct form of "ear" for plural subjects? Is there a generalized rule that I can be pointed to? For ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Lots of questions for a lot of clauses!

I am confused over the use of lots of vs lot of. I am phrasing a sentence having the following clause : [Article] [lot-of/lots-of] [noun singular/plural] [verb] ... As an example : A lot of ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

What is the plural of tablix?

Don't know why the word table wasn't good enough for Microsoft, but SQL Server Reporting Services has a control called a tablix.... But how would I tell you that I have multiple tablix controls? (I ...
3
votes
1answer
751 views

Is “an archives” correct? If so, is it an exception or are there others like it?

A friend recently posted a photo he took of a sign at the LBJ presidential library that used the word "archives" as a singular noun. According to a Smithsonian Institution Archives blog post, this is ...
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1answer
250 views

“There lie targets” vs. “there lies targets”

I have a sentence: However, until then it is obvious that there lie intermediate “targets” — foo, bar and baz. Is the use of lie in this way correct? The targets still exist, so I don’t want ...
3
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1answer
293 views

Apostrophe and plurals of abbreviations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I was in Middlesbrough yesterday and spotted: CJ’s Cafe So far, so good, I thought. A selection of the delights within ...
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2answers
2k views

“Change their positions” vs. “change their position” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Those who qualify will be awarded a certificate” or “those who qualify will be awarded certificates”? “On their back” or “on their ...
3
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1answer
103 views

Should acronyms that are actually hidden plurals be treated as plural?

The term Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is abbreviated as GAAP. (Actually, I don't know if it is an initialism and each letter is spoken, or whether it is pronounced as gap, sorry.) Now, I ...