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

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10
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6answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
174 views

Historical frequency of parenthetical plural(s)

Seems to me that parenthetical plurals have been increasing in recent years. Is there any way to accurately measure this? Google Ngram Viewer seems like a method, but the use of parentheses, first ...
9
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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
9k 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
30k 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
2answers
3k views

Plural of “scheme”?

Scheme is the singular form. What is the plural of scheme?
9
votes
5answers
4k 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
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
4answers
614 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 level ...
9
votes
5answers
709 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
118k 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
20k views

Is “public” plural or singular?

I wonder if the word "public" is plural or singular. Does anybody know?
9
votes
7answers
15k 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
9answers
34k 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
7k 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
10k 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
6k 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
4answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
59k 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", I'...
9
votes
3answers
10k 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
59k 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
22k 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
12k 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
53k 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
68 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
458 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
1k 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
68k 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
7answers
9k views

Apostrophes and caps in Happy Mother’s Day / Happy Mothers’ Day

So, I’m writing this as it is Mother’s (or maybe Mothers’) Day today, and I was wondering what would be a correct way to write that. Should the apostrophe come be between the r and the s, or after ...
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
94k 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
12k 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
4answers
13k 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
11k 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
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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 is,...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the plural form of “SMS”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? What's the plural form of "SMS" (if X), like: I'm concerned, I sent him over a million X but got no response. I ...
8
votes
4answers
23k 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
3answers
8k 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
17k 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
813 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? ...