Tagged Questions

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

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1
vote
1answer
291 views

Is “metadata” considered plural?

The longstanding question of whether "data" is singular or plural has a very appropriate answer in: Is "data" considered singular or plural? Yet, I wonder if the same arguments hold true ...
3
votes
3answers
421 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
725 views

Etymology of certain words ending in “-en”

Tchrist's comment here on my answer to an etymology question brought the following to mind: Ox (from Old English oxa) maintains the same vowel in the plural oxen that it has in the singular. But ...
0
votes
1answer
622 views

Plural of input [duplicate]

What is the plural of input ? It proves unclear which is correct, input or inputs --- or both up to context of usage.
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Book's name in plural and verb

When I speak of one book titled Acts of the Apostles, should I say: "Acts of the Apostles contain" or "Acts of the Apostles contains" ?
8
votes
2answers
477 views

“Foxen” versus “oxes”

What is the difference between fox and box versus ox, that the first two are pluralized as foxes and boxes, whereas the last one is pluralized oxen? Note: I know how to pluralize them. What I want ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Plural forms in noun + noun couple

At first, let's take 2 example expressions: "Books list" and "Book list". As far as I know, the first one is incorrect and I should use the second one - "Book list". And it means "List of books". But ...
4
votes
2answers
636 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Plural vs singular form of verb after set of plural and singular subjects

Should I use verb in plural or singular form if the first subject in the row is singular but is followed by set of subjects in plural form: The story itself, the characters and their tempers make ...
-2
votes
1answer
624 views

“is my hair” or “are my hair” when I'm referring to all my head hair? [duplicate]

What's more correct "is my hair" or "are my hair" when I'm referring to all my head hair? ("do my hair look bad" or "does my hair look bad" for example) Thank you
49
votes
14answers
11k views

One of us is wrong, aren't we?

I have just learned from what I consider a reliable source, that the following sentence is correct: One of us is wrong, aren't we? I would never in my life have written this, but I am assured ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Singular pronoun with plural reference in brackets

Which one is correct? This: Everyone chose XYZ because it (and the ones from last year) is the most reliable. or: Everyone chose XYZ because it (and the ones from last year) are the most ...
1
vote
5answers
443 views

Is “the humanities” singular or plural?

Stephen Pinker published an essay entitled "Science is not your enemy", addressed to researchers in the humanities. Suppose one wanted to make an analogous suggestion to researchers in the sciences? ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“at all time” or “at all times”? [closed]

I would like to praise a lady who is always cheerful. Should I use "She's cheerful at all time." or "She's cheerful at all times."?
10
votes
2answers
552 views

has scientists excited or has excited scientists?

I saw the following on the Facebook page of Time. Is "has scientists excited" or the perfect version "has excited scientists" correct? What's the difference if both are correct? The recent ...
2
votes
2answers
397 views

“in any situation” vs “in any situations” [duplicate]

I am writing an affirmation to motivate myself to be more assertive. Choice 1: "I am assertive in any situation." Choice 2: "I am assertive in any situations." The question is: Should I use the ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Usage of “granularities” (in plural form)

I wonder whether it is correct to use the word "granularity" in its plural form. For example: X and Y are commonly used granularities in Z research. This study can be conducted at both ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Is the word legs singular or plural? [closed]

Which one of these two sentences is correct ? "Legs is spelled with l" Or "Legs are spelled with l"
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Present simple form for City/group of people [duplicate]

Let's say we have a group of people who starts an activity together. The name of group can be: York speaks English! - as York is 3rd person singular. But at the same time: York speak English! - as ...
3
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
111 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

“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 ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

Can you guess what one of his tasty ingredients were?

Speaking of the alleged inventor of the hamburger, someone asked me Can you guess what one of his tasty ingredients were? It is understandable, particularly in context, but it still feels wrong. ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Plural of feedback

I'm looking for a way to identify a specific amount of feedback items I'm visualizing in a list. The construction of the sentence needs to be generic, so I can't use something like Feedback received ...
6
votes
2answers
158 views

“These are my children who want me to…” or “It's my children who want me to…”? And why?

Which of the following two lines is correct? These are my children who want me to learn cooking. It's my children who want me to learn cooking. I am not very familiar with the codified rules of ...
-4
votes
2answers
472 views

Plural of “Hypothesis” [closed]

Hypothesis is the singular form of the word. What is the plural form of hypothesis? Context: The scientists formed not one hypothesis, but many [insert word here].
0
votes
1answer
42 views

a number of vendors is/are? [duplicate]

I think "a number of vendors are" is the right way, but "MS Word Grammar Check" suggested "a number of vendors is". I need a clarification on this.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

The use of “who has” or “who have” in a sentence [duplicate]

Consider the following example: It is you who has taken the garbage out. It is you who have taken the garbage out. Does one use "has" or "have" in this sentence construction? Which of ...
1
vote
2answers
523 views

“sufferings” is plural though it is uncountable,but how?

We know that there is no plural form of the "uncountable noun," but, for example, we write: His sufferings force us to retain pity for him. Is it possible to make an uncountable noun plural? If ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

No. 1, 2, 3 is right or Nos. 1, 2, 3

I cannot decide whether to add -s after words like "No.", "Fig." etc. For example, in my paper, usually I need to express: "Fig. 1, 2 and 3 are illustrations of xxx", "This figure shows the results ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
272 views

“Our name is” or “Our names are”?

Two women, both named Sarah, want to introduce themselves. What do they say? "Our name is Sarah"? This seems to make no sense. "Our names are Sarah"? This also can't be right. What is the correct ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Interdependence vs. interdependency: grammatical number

Are the two words interchangeable? If so, why is one more common in singular (interdependence) and the other in plural (interdependencies)? Look at the Google search hit numbers below: ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

Singular pronoun in "The Cardinal and Ferdinand… he warns her”

The Cardinal and Ferdinand, the brothers of the Duchess, are very much against her re-marriage. He even warns her by showing his father's dagger and that he would use it to take revenge on her if ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Plural form of titles

I've heard certain titles pluralised in apparently odd ways, such as a Secretary General being Secretaries General when plural, rather than "Secretary Generals" as I'd have guessed, and I'm wondering ...
4
votes
4answers
55 views

'Year' or 'Years'?

In the context of the following sentence: "This report gives an overview of x, which took place between the second and final year of my degree from xmonth to ymonth." Should I be using the word ...
-1
votes
0answers
64 views

“Data” — singular or plural [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? The data was kept in soft form. The data were kept in soft form.
2
votes
0answers
45 views

What is the correct way to indicate a singular/plural that ends in (ies) [duplicate]

I would like to know what the correct way to indicate a singular/plural pair is when the singular ends in -y and the plural in -ies. With book you can use book(s) to indicate in writing how to form ...
0
votes
1answer
224 views

Noun of-phrases: Rules as to plural form of each noun in the pair

Nouns of Noun vs Nouns of Nouns Example 1: I face different types of financial constraints vs types of financial constraint Example 2: Different kinds of reasons vs Different kinds of reason ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

Staff and percent. Which one of these two statements is correct? [duplicate]

Which one of these two statements is correct? 60% of staff work or 60% of staff works
-1
votes
1answer
75 views

Is using a plural word after a word describing something that is plural correct

'Different work based on their functions’ should the word 'functions' in this sentence be function because the word 'Different' describes here that the word 'function' is plural.
4
votes
8answers
374 views

There is / There are

I believe it well established that the choice of whether to use "There is" or "There are" with the phrase "a lot of" depends on the following word. For example, you would say: There is a lot of ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

“A mice problem” vs. “a mouse problem”

My friend said to me one day: "We have a mice problem at UNI". Is "a mice problem" grammatical as opposed to "a mouse problem"?
0
votes
1answer
41 views

“the boy Sam and Tom” or “the boys Sam and Tom”? [closed]

I do not know the grammatical terms for this kind of usage. I can only give an example. I want to describe two boys called Sam and Tom. Of course I can just say Sam and Tom are nice. But I ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Should I use plural or singular fore 'more than one' and why? [duplicate]

I was writing the sentence and understood I do not know whether to use plural or singular: If more than one attribute was / were found ...
5
votes
3answers
899 views

Plural of “an end in itself” [closed]

In singular English say: The thing is an end in itself. How does plural look like then? The things are the ends in themselves. Am I right?
3
votes
3answers
167 views

Gerund ending in -ings?

Examples: Savings Shavings Drippings Are these gerunds? I found some resources (below) that don't seem to provide definitive answers. Page 57 Page 320
3
votes
2answers
840 views

“We are American” or “We are Americans”? The singular vs. the plural form? [duplicate]

Which expression is more idiomatic or correct: We are American We are Americans Should I use American in the singular or in the plural form? And why?
1
vote
2answers
74 views

'(death) throes' - countability?

In my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary the word 'throe' is not listed, only 'throes'. With other nouns, the dictionary clearly indicates whether nouns are countable or uncountable, however, with ...
3
votes
4answers
103 views

Half doesn't or half don't? [duplicate]

What’s the right version of these two? Half of the students doesn’t bother to show up. Half of the students don’t bother to show up. Or are both right?