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

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11
votes
2answers
28k views

What is the correct syntax for a plural possessive of a word already ending in s? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Before you vote to close as a duplicate, note that these two questions deal with similar issues to this, but none ...
11
votes
5answers
934 views

What does Maugham mean by “his spaghetti were”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Was the usage "Spaghetti were" ever acceptable or common? [Following up from, but not a duplicate of, this question by another user, which was unresolved…] ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

When should I use “corpuses” over “corpora”?

I've come into a situation where I need to use the plural form of corpus, but I'm a bit confused about which plural form to use. Merriam-Webster says the only plural form is corpora, for all senses ...
11
votes
1answer
10k views

When should a singular word ending in “y” end in “ies” plurally?

Words like "sky" and "money" have "ies" as a plural suffix (i.e. "skies" and "monies") but other words like "monkey" and "Emmy" do not ("monkeys" and "Emmys"). Is there a rule dictating the use of ...
11
votes
2answers
66k views

“Anyone has” or “anyone have” seen them? [closed]

So I thought I'm sure about this and my instincts say that: "If anyone has seen them .." would be right but then again when I said it like: "If anyone have seen them .." I started thinking which one ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the plural of proof of concept? Is it proofs of concept, proof of concepts or proofs of concepts? [closed]

Can someone please clarify what is the plural form of proof of concept? Is it proofs of concept, proof of concepts or proofs of concepts?
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it common for place names to lose their possessive apostrophe?

On a road trip, my wife and I drove by Kings Dominion. We debated whether this should in actuality be King’s Dominion. It seemed that it ought to be possessive, or possibly plural possessive. Upon ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

“There’s” or “There are”?

I wanted to get the usage of There’s clarified. I have read sentences like: There’s a lot of projects on that topic. It appears to me that There’s applies to a lot of projects, rather than to ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “f” in a singular replaced with “v” in its plural?

For example, "wife" is "wives" in plural, as is knife, strife, etc. What's the reason and/or etymology behind this?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are plurals ‘*humen’ and ‘*Germen’ not conventional?

Studying English in school as a second language, I learned that human being would be the proper noun to describe a member of the Homo sapiens species, but it seems human is perfectly acceptable in ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I use the word “milks” when discussing KINDS of milk

Heard at the cafe: "We have three milks: soy, almond, and cow." Is it ok to use the word "milks" in this context? I've heard it in other uncountable nouns, like "essential oils", or "simple sugars", ...
10
votes
6answers
72k views

Plural of “roof”?

Roofs is generally used, but is rooves archaic or just wrong?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the plural of “Mars”?

What is the plural of Mars? Is it Marses or Mars' (note the apostrophe)? Or something else? EDIT: I'm not sure where I got the idea of Mars' from. I suppose I was thinking it might be a zero plural ...
10
votes
4answers
47k views

Is “both” singular?

Is the following correct? Both of these essentially act as a WebKit wrapper. Or should it be the following? Both of these essentially acts as a WebKit wrapper. Context.
10
votes
5answers
5k views

“Was” or “were” for “half a dozen”

In Microsoft Word, the following sentence is flagged. It tells me to use "was" instead of "were" There were half a dozen books strewn about the floor. I would think that you would use "were" ...
10
votes
4answers
31k views

When traveling abroad, are you “oversea” or “overseas”?

I live in Singapore and I will be travelling to Jakarta. Should I say "I will be oversea next week." or "I will be overseas next week."? Looking at Google Maps, it looks like there are two seas ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

A battery of tests is/are

This is from a recent article: He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery of tests was conducted. Now shouldn't it be He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

More than 1000 gallons of paint is/are sold each day [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plural/singular verb agreement with units Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural? Can anyone help me determine the correct verb in this ...
10
votes
3answers
24k views

Plural of “learning”

What is the plural of learning? Is it learnings?
10
votes
4answers
13k views

“Are either of you free?”

In the process of writing to two people I typed: "Are either of you free?" and was immediately called out by my grammar checker which suggested I should write: "Is either of you free?" The second of ...
10
votes
2answers
15k views

“viruses” or “virii”?

Is the plural of virus "viruses" or "virii"?
10
votes
3answers
38k views

Is “each and every one of you” singular or plural?

Is each and every one of you singular or plural? I searched this subject and found a similar post here but I just want to confirm.
10
votes
5answers
13k views

Using a singular or plural verb after “and/or”

If the subject of a sentence is separated by "and/or", should the verb be pluralized, as with "and", or agree with the rightmost subject, as with "or"? For example: His co-workers and/or his boss ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

When a sentence uses an optional plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural?

Consider the following sentence: We assume that the individual(s) possesses some general knowledge of the rules of football. Is "possesses" correct there? Should it be "possess"? Is the rule ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

When is it correct to not use the irregular form for a plural? e.g. mouses vs. mice

I seem to recall that an English teacher somewhere along the course of my education had indicated that when referencing distinct types of a word, e.g. a computer mouse and the mammal, it would be ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Singular or plural following a list

Can anyone tell me if I should use inspire or inspires in this phrase? An extraordinary leader whose vision, values, integrity and boundless curiosity inspires all who follow in his footsteps.
10
votes
3answers
296k views

When to use “lives” as a plural of life?

I am confused when talking about a general idea using "our life" when sometimes I feel like using "our lives". Please tell me the correct answer with appropriate explanation.
10
votes
3answers
16k views

“Are” vs. “is” with compound subjects

How are the wife and kid? How is the wife and kid? Which is more correct?
10
votes
4answers
26k views

Using “skies” instead of “sky”

Why do people use "skies" instead of "sky" (when, indeed, we only have one sky)? Reach for the sky/skies! and I'm glad to finally see some blue skies. I'm glad to finally see a blue ...
10
votes
3answers
726 views

Is there any common context for “enoughs”?

I noticed today that ENOUGHS is valid in Scrabble(tm), and I realize "enough" can be used as a noun ("I've had enough!"), but I'm unaware of any context where one might use its plural. Perhaps it's ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is the plural of “aircraft” not “aircrafts”?

I came along this sentence: Today, we have used a large number of assets, comprising of 34 aircraft, 40 ships, hundreds of men, thousands of man-hours has been deployed I consulted dictionaries ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
49k views

How can I distinguish between the singular and plural of “species”?

I've been reading a Wikipedia article that describes the symptoms of rabies in various species, and I want to add a clarification note about which species (or species) a specific paragraph refers to. ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to deal with irregular plural(s)?

What happens if you have a written phrase like We were looking at the same poster(s). but with a noun that has an irregular plural? E.g. with baby/babies, would this be the correct form? We ...
10
votes
2answers
15k views

Should I use the singular or plural verb in mathematical formulae (“Two and two make/makes four”)?

I remember somebody correcting me once when I said, "Two and two makes four", since the conjunction and would imply the use of a plural verb. They would prefer I said: Two and two make four. ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Plural or singular when stating that an amount is enough

A colleague of mine corrected the following sentence in a text I had written: A handful of iterations was generally enough for convergence. According to her it should be: A handful of iterations ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the plural of Prius?

What would be the correct plural of Prius, and why? A Latin professor would say Prium’s the best...
9
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the preferred plural form of “bus”?

The OED states that both "buses" and "busses" are acceptable plural forms of "bus". Is one generally preferred over the other?
9
votes
5answers
27k views

Why does the incorrect plural “aircrafts” seem to be occurring more often?

My first reaction to aircrafts was to think it was a typo, but I just checked usage on NGrams... ...and compared it to usage for the singular / collective noun form aircraft... ...which seems to ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Does the word 'God' with a capital G have a plural form?

Does the word 'God' with a capital G have a plural form?
9
votes
5answers
3k views

“My last couple of years” — singular or plural?

Should I use "wasn't" or "weren't" in the following sentence? My last couple of years as an Edison Eagle wasn’t all about fighting and bad friendships.
9
votes
3answers
44k views

“How's things?” or “How are things?”

In a short interview where people were introducing themselves I saw something that grammatically sounds erroneous. Is the use of How's things instead of How're things a kind of expression or a simple ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the correct plural of “Raspberry Pi”?

What is the correct way to pluralize a proper noun like "Raspberry Pi" (a type of small, inexpensive computer)? Would you say: This project uses two Raspberry Pis This project uses two ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Is the plural form of “Mercedes” a disused word?

In the picture below: 1) are there two Mercedeses? Or, 2) are there two Mercedes? Can we infer from this nGram that the plural noun "Mercedeses" is a disused word, hence the sentence 2) ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Are units in English singular or plural?

I am a little bit confused about using units in English, sometimes I hear that people use singular units for plural things, sometimes they use plural ones. Which one is correct? 3 meter(s) long? ...
9
votes
4answers
601 views

Pluralizing keywords in programming languages [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Marking plural of code words In the language that I'm currently working in one of the keywords is try. I'm writing an error message: No implementation for global ...
9
votes
5answers
343 views

“There are no shortage of applications”

I've been having an argument with a colleague about this sentence, could you please let me know which one of us is correct: There are no shortage of applications for our product in this space. ...
9
votes
2answers
221 views

Does a percentage quantity take singular or plural verb agreement?

Does a percentage require a singular or plural verb, for example, do we say ten percent "go" or "goes"?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Plural of “first child”

If multiple people each have a first child, are those children collectively referred to as first children or first childs? The former seems more consistent with the usual plural of child, but the ...
9
votes
1answer
17k views

Is “public” plural or singular?

I wonder if the word "public" is plural or singular. Does anybody know?