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

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5answers
503 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
104k views

“Congratulation” vs. “congratulations”

Congratulation vs. congratulations — which one to use? How/when?
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
19k views

Is “public” plural or singular?

I wonder if the word "public" is plural or singular. Does anybody know?
9
votes
9answers
31k views

Is “a wide range of features” singular or plural?

In the office, we've been having a discussion about the grammar in a sentence and have differing opinions about what is right and what is wrong... It is a very minor issue but is still bugging me :) ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Election or Elections?

I'm a little confused about when I should be using the singular form of election, and when I should be using the plural form. Did he win the election or win the elections? Did I vote in the election ...
9
votes
7answers
13k views

“A variety of X is” vs. “a variety of X are”

Which of the following sentences is correct? A variety of dishes are being prepared. A variety of dishes is being prepared. I believe that both can be used, though I'd stick with ...
9
votes
7answers
9k views

“Without reason” or “Without reasons”?

Do we say "Without reason" or "Without reasons"? (e.g. She started laughing without (apparent) reason(s).). Is "reason" countable or not? Can we ever use a plural noun after "without"?
9
votes
2answers
5k views

'phenomena' as singular: usage

We know phenomena is a plural whose singular form is phenomenon. However, I have seen frequent of use of phenomena itself as singular, as in 'this is a phenomena ...', 'this phenomena is ...', etc. ...
9
votes
1answer
27k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
53k views

Is “details” singular?

Which one of the following sentences is correct? Here is the details you requested. Here are the details you requested. Having googled "Here is the details" and "Here are the details", ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Why are words ending in “-um” and “-us” pluralized to end in “-a” and “-i”, respectively?

Where does the practice of using -a and -i for plural forms of -um and -us, respectively, come from? Bacteria vs. bacterium Fungi vs. fungus
9
votes
1answer
55k views

What is the proper title abbreviation for addressing multiple people?

I'm writing a letter to several recipients in the same document and want to address them correctly at the start. Is the following correct (I suspect not) and if not, what should it be: Dear Mr's ...
9
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the plural of 'only child'?

I suppose it would be 'only children' but that does not sound quite right. For example, a schoolteacher might say, "in my class there are seven only children".
9
votes
6answers
6k views

Singular or plural verb form where subject includes a “parenthetical” element

My question arises from this one, where OP asks whether he should use the singular or plural verb form after "the title, as well as the tone," As luck would have it, when I searched Google Books for ...
9
votes
4answers
20k views

“In regard to” or “in regards to”

Is it incorrect to say either of the following? In regards to your previous email In regards to your previous emails I was asked this by a non-native speaker, and after thinking about it I ...
9
votes
1answer
38k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

Many more vs much more / many fewer vs much fewer

This year there were: many more people much more people Alternatively: many fewer people much fewer people Which is considered better English?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

“1 out of 100 chickens is” or “1 out of 100 chickens are”?

I'm in an argument. To me "are" makes more sense. I understand the rationale for is because it's only one chicken, but chickens itself is plural. Help?
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between a “singular noun” and a “plural noun treated as singular”?

I'd always thought that words like "physics" and "mathematics" were singular: after all, we say "physics is the study of…" etc. But apparently, according to the comments on this question about "news", ...
9
votes
3answers
48k views

“This kind of things” vs “These kinds of thing”

I have a question about the following text: Last week Alex Knapp at Forbes published an article criticizing my Nikola Tesla comic. I don't normally respond to these kinds of thing, but since it's' ...
9
votes
2answers
66 views

Should I prefer “my” or “our” when the object (a kid, a house) is “co-owned” by two people both present?

I was sitting on a couch between the wife and the husband of an old married couple (native English Londoners) and they were showing me pictures of their kids. They kept using phrases like here is ...
9
votes
2answers
443 views

sewer or sewers

I was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES when I stopped to ponder; when in a place full of sewage, am I in the sewer or am I in the sewers? Mayhaps both? Also on further use of the root ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we use the article 'a' when referring to 100 items? But we don't use it when referring to any other plural count?

Edit Note: This question has been linked to these questions about using an article before adjectives modifying numbers. This question here has nothing to do with adjectives at all: Indefinite ...
8
votes
5answers
979 views

Plurals of “infimum” and “supremum”

The words infimum and supremum are technical terms in mathematics. Should their plurals be infima and suprema or infimums and supremums?
8
votes
6answers
62k views

“There are so many” vs. “There is so many”

There are so many questions on this website. There is so many questions on this website. The former "sounds right," but the contracted form of the latter does as well: There's so many ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I pluralize “horsepower?”

Should I say that an engine can output 552 horsepower or 552 horsepowers? I've heard people use both. If it is just "horsepower", what is the justification for the nonstandard pluralization?
8
votes
4answers
9k views

“My brother or one of my sisters” — singular or plural?

Should I use 'was' or 'were' in this example? I was always delighted when my brother or one of my sisters was/were asked to do them.
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the plural form of trademarked product names, specifically of the term “WordPress”?

On the stackexchange site WordPress Answers, we recently discussed the plural form, or whether one exists at all, of the system we all use. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a ...
8
votes
6answers
85k views

Is 'hair' singular or plural?

When one says I was washing my hair, is it singular or plural? What is the singular for hair?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Are two or more clusters of ivy considered “ivy” or “ivies”?

When referring to two or more clusters of ivy, is it ivy, ivies, or something else entirely?
8
votes
3answers
11k views

Each apple and each orange [has/have]?

For a phrase such as the following: each apple and each orange Is it correct to use "has" or "have" when describing properties of both apples and oranges?
8
votes
5answers
8k views

Adjective pluralization

A 16-year-old girl. She is 16 years old. I've read somewhere that the reason the year in the first example is singular is that it functions as an adjective, and adjectives can't be ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Mixing plural and singular list items with a single verb

A friend wants to write, There is no hardware to purchase, no additional software to install and no key fobs to worry about. This is awkward because the verb "is" doesn't match up with the third ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

Does “whereabouts” function as a singular or plural noun?

His whereabouts is unknown vs His whereabouts are unknown Which is correct, or is this simply a matter of preference?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the proper plural of “reputation”?

Vote Down requires 125 reputation Shouldn't it be "reputations"? Why or why not?
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Are there meta-plurals beyond “peoples”?

The plural of "person" is "people". The plural of "people" is "peoples". Person-people-peoples is the only sequence like this that I know of, but I'm looking for another. (The equivalent question ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Pluralization of names

If I were to use the sentence "There are lots of John Smiths" in the world, would that be the correct use for saying that there are a lot of people named John Smith in the world? I don't think there ...
8
votes
4answers
105k views

'Each' with plural or singular verb

A source says that the word "each" should always be followed by a singular noun, but however I look at it in this sentence it just doesn't seem to fit: foo [comprises] multiple binary programs ...
8
votes
4answers
20k views

Which is correct: “There are not any employees” vs. “there is not any employee”

Sometimes I see two variants of following sentence: "there are not any employees" in the department "there is not any employee" in the department What is the correct sentence?
8
votes
5answers
17k views

Is an apostrophe with a decade (e.g. 1920’s) generally considered “incorrect”?

I typically don’t use an apostrophe with plurals in any situation, but I always assumed that the use of an apostrophe in constructions like acronyms: Forty BA’s were given out to students this ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the correct plural form of the word “forum”?

"Fora vs Forums" I understand that the word "forums" is more acceptable than "fora" because anyone can understand its meaning today and that English is a living language so it's adapting, but except ...
8
votes
2answers
16k views

Is it correct to put “bros” before “hos” or before “hoes”?

I'm wondering about the pluralisation of "ho" (as in slang for prostitute) in the phrase "Bros before ho(e)s". To me, hos makes sense because it's consistent with bros. Hoes could also refer to a ...
8
votes
2answers
780 views

Was the usage “Spaghetti were” ever acceptable or common?

In W. Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence, there is a line about Dirk Stroeve which goes His spaghetti were …. Spaghetti is plural in Italian, but is this ever a normal usage in English? ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

When should we use proximity rule in “either/or”, and “neither/nor”?

According to this link, if at least one of the nouns involved is plural then it should take the plural form of the verb. Otherwise, it should take the singular form of the verb. But in the last part ...
8
votes
3answers
19k views

Is “a total of 10 payments” singular or plural?

A total of 10 payments were made. OR A total of 10 payments was made. Which is correct? Or can both be correct?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Uses of the word “lyrics”

I don’t understand how to use of the word lyrics. I would like to know how it is used by a native English speaker. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary says: lyric noun (also lyrics) the words of a ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we use the plural “heads” and “tails” when describing sides of a coin?

Head or tail sound fine to my ESL ears. What's the reasoning behind the plural usage? I looked it up on etymonline but didn't find anything interesting.
8
votes
1answer
23k views

What is the plural of the word formula [duplicate]

I study mathematics and as I'm sure you can imagine, often read the word formula. I also quite often come across formulas used as the plural. This always annoys me as I was under the impression that ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

There is/are one or several apple/~s?

To be clear, among There is one or several apple. There are one or several apple. There is one or several apples. There are one or several apples. which is correct? My guess: ...