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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
votes
4answers
360 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?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“Do the media…” or “Does the media”?

I saw a headline: Do the media exploit personal tragedy? This sounds wrong to me, I would've have written "Does the media exploit personal tragedy?". Which is correct?
2
votes
8answers
16k views

Should I say “there is a handful of…” or “there are a handful of…”? [duplicate]

I want to write that I have handful of somethings. Which of these is the correct form? There is a handful of somethings. There are a handful of somethings. Are both correct?
2
votes
4answers
7k views

“Tip” or “tips” of your fingers?

Which of the following is correct and why? opportunity at the tips of her fingers opportunity at the tip of her fingers The former seems correct to me, but I don’t entirely understand why.
2
votes
3answers
10k views

“Do” vs. “does” with multiple singular subjects

How does serverfault, stackoverflow and other stackExchange sites connect together? Is that does or do? Because I'm talking about multiple items, it would be do. What is more correct?
2
votes
2answers
589 views

What's the plural of quantum?

As in a number of the smallest de facto units of anything you can have in the universe? Currently in the running in my mind: Quanta Quantums
2
votes
3answers
780 views

“Adult and children stories” or “Adults and children stories”?

How do you say it correctly? Adult and children stories Adults and children stories Adults' and children's stories other?
2
votes
3answers
95k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

Why “a” bow and arrow?

Anyone who's watched CW's Arrow would recognize this line immediately: They've got guns. You've got a bow and arrow. They never say a bow and arrows. They never say a bow and an arrow. They say ...
2
votes
4answers
259 views

How should one make “man in the middle” plural?

Usually, when a phrase acts as a single word, the noun in the phrase gets made plural. For instance, "mother in law" becomes "mothers in law" when made plural. When discussing "man in the middle" ...
2
votes
3answers
433 views

In soccer, is there “a goal” or “goals” at each end of the pitch?

Being a non-native speaker, I don't quite have a good feel for this. Is it usually referred to in singular or plural? For example, is it "We painted the goal white" or "We painted the goals white", ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the plural of interrogative words (what, who, where, when, how, why, etc.)

If interrogative words are used as nouns, how are they pluralized? Example: This will answer your hows and whys. What is the correct form? whys (the same as most English words?) why's (following ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does the 3rd-person of verbs that end in -y follow the rule for plural nouns instead of verbs?

I don’t understand why the 3rd-person of verbs that end in -y such as cry, try, or fly follow the rule for pluralizing nouns like fly. Why do they become cries, tries, and flies instead of crys, trys, ...
2
votes
4answers
176 views

“Find ten apples and oranges” Do I find 10 or 20?

If I read the sentence Find ten apples and oranges. Do I need to find ten or twenty pieces of fruit?
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Do robotic insects have “antennas” or “antennae”?

I know that insects have antennae and machines have antennas. Which plural form should I use for something that’s both insectoid and a machine? Does one officially take precedence?
2
votes
4answers
5k views

“If you or your colleague has” or “If you or your colleague have”?

Which is correct out of the following two sentences? If you or your colleague have any questions, let me know If you or your colleague has any questions, let me know I was originally thinking that ...
2
votes
3answers
125 views

“Apache are” or “Apache is”?

What is more correct when I'm talking about Apache 2 (HTTP webserver)? It is Apache or They are Apache I think it's "Apaches are". What's correct?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Grammar behind the song title 'The Way I Are' [closed]

You might know the song called The Way I Are by Timberland featuring Keri Hilson. I am very confused here. How does The Way I Are make sense?
2
votes
2answers
720 views

Is “robotics” a plural noun? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Politics: singular or plural? What is the difference between a “singular noun” and a “plural noun treated as singular”? Which is the correct ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is “deers” correct when referring to different species?

The plural of deer is deer, but if you are referring to different species of deer, would it be correct to say "deers"? Considering that the plural of fish is fish, but when referring to different ...
2
votes
5answers
356 views

Best word for health problems

What is the best word for pain and health problems caused by a disease? I want to use it as term for a collection of symptoms, that I gather. For example: [headache, stomachache, nausea] but ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

Why does “information” not have a plural form?

Why doesn't the word information take an "S" in English even if the meaning is "plural"?
2
votes
2answers
12k views

Plural of “daughter in law” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Words that are pluralized in the middle? I was asked to write the plural of daughter in law in an aptitude exam. I wrote it as daughters in law. Please tell me the right ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Politics - singular or plural?

I am having difficulty deciding which of the following is correct: Politics both fascinates and repulses him. Politics both fascinate and repulse him. I think, in part, this is because I ...
2
votes
2answers
54k views

parent vs parents, which is the correct word to use? [closed]

i would like to know which of these is exactly correct or is both allowed ? i see people use parent and also as parents in day to day communication.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

The battery, etc., is (are?) included.

When “etc.” is used with a singular subject, such as in the following sentence, should the verb be singular or plural? The battery, etc., is included.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

When there are several appendices, what is that part of a book called?

If a book has one appendix, it is The Appendix. Now consider a book with three appendices (or, if you like, appendixes), named Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C. The part of the book, which is ...
2
votes
2answers
16k views

Possessive plural of country? [closed]

Is it countries? Country's? I originally thought the latter but this would suggest a singular country?
2
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the difference between “little” and “a little”?

I would like to know how these two words differ in usage. Which one is singular? Which one is plural? I would greatly appreciate if you could provide me with a sample usage of these phrases.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

A collective noun when referring to a group of people with the same name?

How can I refer collectively to a group of people with the same name, for example: Having so many Johns around is confusing. or Having so many John's around is confusing. Which one is the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “grounds” (as in a chunk of land) singular or plural?

Am I correct that grounds, although sounding plural, is actually singular? More specifically, which is better: I view Fedora as a testing grounds for new ideas. or I view Fedora as testing ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

Does bit (information) have a plural [closed]

I'm wondering if the word "bit" in its information theory / computer science sense actually has a plural. If "bit" is used like a unit of measurement, then it should mostly be used in its singular ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

What is the plural form of the word “Demiurge” [closed]

What would be the plural form of the word "Demiurge", (the Creator~). One Demiurge. Many Demiurges?
2
votes
2answers
616 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it correct to use the word 'etiquettes' for plural?

One of my friends argues with me that the plural for etiquette is etiquettes and for fish it is fishes. I was taught since ever that etiquette is plural as fish does. To support his statement he ...
2
votes
3answers
247 views

“Art developer” or “arts developer” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference, if any, between 'art', 'the arts', and 'Art'? Which is more correct in describing a software developer: art developer or ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the correct plural of “chaise longue”? [closed]

Is it "chaises longues" or just "chaise longues"? Both examples exist in different dictionaries. Or should it be something else entirely?
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Plural of “document”

I thought the plural of document is document itself. Which one is valid, document or documents?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Either of two [subject]s was/were?

Is it correct to use "were" or "was" in the following? whenever either of two somethings [were/was] applied [...]
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Is “a row of” plural or singular?

I see an example in Longman dictionary. For the word of "toolbar", it says, "a row of small pictures at the top of a computer screen that allow you to do particular things in a document". I am ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

The grammar of 'clothes' versus 'clothing'

Which of these is correct: I didn't realize how much clothes you had on the floor I didn't realize how much clothing you had on the floor Any additional explanation about clothes versus ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Can I use the word “persons”?

I hope this is the correct place for my question. I didn't post in English learner site because it seems a more specific question. As everyone knows the plural of person is people, but I saw in a menu ...
2
votes
1answer
481 views

What is the plural of “Freight”? [closed]

What is the plural of freight? Freights just doesn't sound right to me. Perhaps, freight is already the plural. If that is the case, what is its singular? Edit After doing some research, most ...
2
votes
3answers
755 views

Plural of “uh-oh” and “oh-no”

Does the plural form of uh-oh and oh-no include an apostrophe? So is it "uh-oh's and oh-no's" or "uh-ohs and oh-nos"? I've seen it both ways and cannot find a definitive answer anywhere.
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Not only X but also Y are (is?)

At first glance, sentence 1 below seems more correct because there are two subjects. However, something seems more natural about sentence 2. Maybe there is something abbreviated, elliptical, or ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Plural forms which end in -x such as tableaux

Words borrowed from French and ending in -eau originally had plural forms which appended an -x rather than an -s. For e.g., the plurals of tableau, beau, and plateau were tableaux, beaux, and plateaux ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

Use of noun “immovable” and its plural form

I'm not sure about the plural form of immovable (immovables). By the way, is "immovable" a word that English speakers use when referring to "real estates, properties etc."?
2
votes
2answers
24k views

“These include” or “This includes”

I am writing a user manual and am stuck upon these include and this includes. Do I use This includes when there is only one thing involved? For example, "This includes normal users" and "This includes ...
2
votes
4answers
232 views

Plurality of a group also referenced using we/our/us

This question (migrated to writers.se) uses an example sentence along the lines of ABC is expanding our operations overseas. As a Brit, I'm quite comfortable with either ABC is or ABC are in ...
2
votes
2answers
512 views

How should we treat a plural term that refers to singular term?

I'd like to better understand why is the following grammatical: One of the problems is flags. Here flags refers to the flagging system. However, flags is plural and the flagging system is ...