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

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11
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6answers
81k views

Plural of “roof”?

Roofs is generally used, but is rooves archaic or just wrong?
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do people pluralize “WiFi” with an “s”?

I'm in a friendly argument with a supervisor about this one, and I'd like some data: Does one say "WiFis" when referring to multiple WiFi networks, or does one say "WiFi"? I suppose alternately, one ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

What is a reasonable definition for “is”? What is the rule for inserting it in a sentence?

I am learning a foreign language with the help of an excellent tutor who speaks enough English for me to be able to understand them. The deal is, essentially, I correct their English if they teach/...
11
votes
2answers
18k views

“viruses” or “virii”?

Is the plural of virus "viruses" or "virii"?
11
votes
3answers
493 views

Difference in usage of “rock” and “rocks”

Recently, I came across this situation where I was asked which one was correct: Fossils are found in sedimentary rock. Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks. Is there is distinction ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a good rule of thumb for plurals of words related to music world ending in “o”?

The following words and their plurals seem to be somewhat inconsistent: combo / combos concerto / concertos grotto / grottos / grottoes (?) hero / heros (?) / heroes potato / potatos (?) / potatoes ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

X, along with Y, “were” or “was”?

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in a brief Tom Daschle's biography in The Washington Post, Politics, (WHO RUNS GOV). She, along with Mark Childress, were set to be ...
11
votes
3answers
43k 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.
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I pluralise “as is”?

Let’s say I write: “Just send me these documents as is”. Is that correct? Should it be pluralised into “as are”, which sounds so wrong to me? Or are they both incorrect, in which case I may write “as ...
11
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Why “themselves” and “himself”

In the earliest grades of elementary schools, students learn that "hisself" and "theirselves" are not words. I do not understand why this is. If you wanted to refer to 'his' sock, you would say "his ...
11
votes
2answers
32k 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 of ...
11
votes
5answers
947 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
4answers
31k 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 sky....
11
votes
1answer
39k views

What is the proper plural of “a series”? [closed]

In math, we use the term series a lot, and there are many types of series. How should I craft my sentence when I have three different ones in mind to talk about? Should I settle down for a less ...
11
votes
2answers
17k views

Controversy over verb choice in “neither you nor I {is/am/are} in control”

I was watching the film A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law when this line came up, "...neither you nor I is in control..." (I can’t remember the exact words that ended the ...
11
votes
1answer
11k 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
78k 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
17k 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. I'...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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
6answers
24k views

Number agreement when using “(s)” for optional plural

I have a question about the following construction and which instance is correct. Selecting an appropriate study topic(s). Selecting appropriate study topic(s). When it is both singular ...
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
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
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
3answers
51k 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 ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
26k views

Plural of “learning”

What is the plural of learning? Is it learnings?
10
votes
4answers
38k 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
3answers
11k 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? ...
10
votes
2answers
255 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"?
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
4answers
14k 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
4answers
27k views

Is “stuff ” a plural word? [closed]

I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct? This stuff or these stuff?
10
votes
1answer
29k views

Rule on absence of the article “the” with plural nouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article with plural nouns I recently reviewed (as I believe, rather thoroughly) the rules of using articles in English and I do not recall any rule on absence of ...
10
votes
3answers
12k 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
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
336k 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
17k 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
3answers
772 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
9k 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
3k 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
54k 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
3k 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
6answers
9k 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
8k 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
29k 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 ...