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

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2
votes
1answer
89 views

When did “species” become the word for both the singular and plural? [duplicate]

I thought the singular version was"specie," and the plural was"species." Was "species" always an acceptable equivalent to "specie?"
1
vote
7answers
310 views

Use of the word “beeves”

In what sentence would you need to use the plural of beef? The plural is beeves. Plural form of beef (sense 1 of the noun). I have tried every sentence that it could be necessary but I cannot ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

How to conjugate a verb with multiple subjects [closed]

Say you have the following sentence: Alice (and her family) [some present-tense inflection of the verb be]. . . . How do you conjugate be here? It refers both to Alice and "her family". Thus ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

What do variations in “a variety/varieties” of “flower/flowers” mean?

What's the difference between these four phrases: a variety of flowers varieties of flowers a variety of flower varieties of flower I can't quite distinguish the difference between variety and ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

“What does the comments say”

Is this sentence correct? I'm a web developer so I think of "comments" on a webpage as a singular component. So referring to a story on a website that was posted, I asked, "What does the comments ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Nouns in a series with singular or plural verb? [duplicate]

Which is correct? Cultivation, possession, and distribution of corn is ... Or Cultivation, possession, and distribution of corn are ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Does syllabus derive from Greek or Latin?

I'm looking for some hard evidence to determine whether syllabus is a word that derives from Greek or Latin. This came about from a discussion asking whether the plural of syllabus is "syllabuses" or ...
2
votes
5answers
141 views

Can I mix singular and plural for a possessive?

I want to talk about a specific woman. She is the wife of one of my cousins. So I have several cousins, but not each of them has a wife, and those who have one obviously only have one. Can I say ...
3
votes
2answers
355 views

Are peas countable or non-countable?

Frequently in my childhood a conversation would arise at the dinner table that went something like this; "How many peas would you like?" "About sixty please". (Laughter ensues). The question befits a ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Plural noun to refer to a list of types for it?

If I have a noun with a list of different types it can be, should this noun be plural? For example, a "stage" can be a "planning stage" or a "play stage." Which of the following is correct? ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Choice of plural and singular, definite and indefinite articles for multiple nouns [closed]

Which of the following is correct? There are apple and orange. There is an apple and an orange. There are an apple and an orange. There are apple and orange.
1
vote
0answers
272 views

Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with “The thing is the objects.”

In my ell answer, version 32, I provided the following, problematic, wording (especially bold italic), and I need help to better understand this issue so I can fix my answer:1 The thing is ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Is “Selected 1 of 1 Entries” correct pluralization?

I'm trying to work out any possible pluralization strings for an application that handles dynamic values, and I'm a little stuck on the English here.. What I think sounds right doesn't feel right. ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Apostrophe with Singular Proper Noun made up on Plural Word [duplicate]

I'm normally pretty confident with my punctuation, but this one has been stumping me, and it's probably because I don't know the proper phrasing for what I'm trying to ask: How to we add a possessive ...
1
vote
2answers
31 views

singular entity as a collection of subjects

"If you are looking for a XYZ Residential Real Estate Attorney, the Law Offices of John Smith is here to help. " The firm itself is called "the Law Offices of John Smith", so is it correct that it ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

“One of the children who was” vs. “one of the children who were”

In the construction "one of the [plural noun] who ...", should the verb agree with "one" or "[plural noun]"? For example, which of the two following sentences is grammatically correct? Or are both ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

How to refer to a specific floor of a building

Are there any differences between "floor" and "Floor" when talking about areas of a building? For example, "The children book section is on the 4th floor" or "The children book section is on the 4th ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

Is “Are” always used with plural verbs/nouns? [duplicate]

Examples: There's six seasons, dude. Wouldn't it be: There're six seasons, dude. We are talking about multiple items; six seasons. If we refer to multiple items, we should use "Are" in ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Singular or plural when referring to an event and a specific case of that event

In sentences in which a verb references an event, and a particular case of that same event, should i use the singular or plural form for the verb? for example: "milk production, and in particular ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

“Stadiums” vs. “stadia” [duplicate]

I'm not that old, but when I was a child/teen, stadia was the common term. As in: Wembley, the Nou Camp, and the Santiago Bernabeu are football stadia. The MCG and Lord's are cricket stadia. ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

“This facility has/have a new administrator” [closed]

"This facility has a new administrator" — is this correct? Or should it be "this facility have a new administrator"?
-2
votes
1answer
3k views

Which is right for the possessive: “companys” or “company’s”? [duplicate]

How should one form the word company when something belongs to a company? Is the correct form companys, or should it be company’s instead?
1
vote
1answer
92 views

“Germany is/are in the NATO alliance.” clarification please

American English native speakers watching the World Cup have been very troubled regarding why British English announcers and writers treat country names as plural nouns. This issue has already been ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Can the name of a country be considered a plural noun, as a collective of e.g. its citizens? [duplicate]

Brazil have Neymar. Argentina have Messi. Portugal have Ronaldo. Germany have a team! I read this on Facebook, and someone said the singular "has" is supposed to be there instead of the plural ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

which is better, “deformation” or “deformations”?

This is for a thesis title so I want to be sure it makes sense. Would it be more correct to write: "defects and structural deformations" (plural); as in, there are a number of possible ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

Does “is” or “are” introduce a list of items?

Should a list of items be introduced with is or with are? Does the verb agree with a singular list or with multiple items in the list? Next in the row is/are Khorasan-e-‎Razavi, Esfahan, ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Should this sentence have a singular or plural object?

Is the correct version this: But in general such verses have rarely been accepted as a genuine part of the book. OR this: But in general such verses have rarely been accepted as genuine ...
3
votes
2answers
458 views

Plural of Friday 13th?

On another StackExchange QA site, I asked a math question involving Friday 13th. It deals with years having more than one Friday 13th. I used 'Fridays 13th' as the plural form of 'Friday 13th'. Was I ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

“XYZ caterers is..” or “XYZ caterers are..”? [duplicate]

In the following statement, which one is grammatically correct? XYZ caterers is on to something big OR XYZ caterers are on to something big I thought that it should be 'are' as caterers is ...
5
votes
2answers
389 views

Is “nothing but birds and a few insects” singular or plural?

Nothing but birds and a few insects [was/were] to be seen. In the above sentence, should the verb agree with "nothing" or with "birds and a few insects"?
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Plural or Singular? “There are no books.” [duplicate]

This is really just for fun. Why is this grammatically correct? "There are no books". "No books" means a zero quantity of books which is singular per definition of plural (2 or more). So isn't it ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the correct way to say Women's Wear?

In UK English what is the correct term for 'Women's Wear'? For example, what should the department where all the women's clothes are be called? Earlier I was 100% sure it would be "Women's Wear" but ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Does (or did) “a trouser” or “a scissor” have a meaning?

We say (a pair of) trousers, (a pair of) scissors. For these two particular words, is/was there something like "a trouser" or "a scissor"? Did it use to mean anything? E.g. in Czech, the word for ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Use of the plural form for “flotsam”

I'm having a discussion on whether the word flotsam is used only in a singular context or if it can be used as a plural. Can you help me which sentence is grammatically correct? Instinctively the ...
2
votes
1answer
361 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
513 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
773 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
909 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
56 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" ?
10
votes
3answers
518 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
61 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
731 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
88 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
953 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
50
votes
14answers
12k 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
73 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
529 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
561 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 ...