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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
1answer
1k views

“Two are better than one” or “Two is better than one”?

I just came across the phrase "Two are better than one", but I had always heard it in my head as "Two is better than one". This is partially due to the Boys Like Girls song. Which one of these is ...
11
votes
2answers
20k views

Why is the plural of “deer” the same as the singular?

Why is the plural version of deer identical to the singular version? If mouse became mice, then why did the singular deer not change to something else in the plural?
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
303 views

Singular or plural form of verb [closed]

Which of two following sentences is correct? Depending on whether a birth or a death occurs , we have... Depending on whether a birth or a death occur, we have... Update I changed the title.
2
votes
2answers
74 views

the single of plurals are?

I'm sure his has a general form and welcome a link to a duplicate, but as I don't quite know what to search for, here goes. Whilst answering a question on the Mathematics Stack Exchange, I found ...
-2
votes
2answers
67 views

which one of the following phrase is correct? [closed]

Which phrase is correct? The shipped order has been dropped The shipped order have been dropped
2
votes
1answer
162 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
750 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
173 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
675 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
76 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
17 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
247 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
254 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
943 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
79 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
77 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
300 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.
2
votes
1answer
404 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
84 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
203 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
37 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
154 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
241 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
190 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
230 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
126 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
52 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"?
0
votes
1answer
23k 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?
4
votes
2answers
199 views

It's one of the best [plural noun] that + has (or) have

In the sentence It's one of the best films that has/have ever been made What should the verb agreement be?
1
vote
1answer
97 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
176 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
2answers
320 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
98 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
576 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
40 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
625 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 that sentence, should the verb agree with "nothing" or with "birds and a few insects"?
0
votes
1answer
232 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
248 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
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
123 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
803 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
1k 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
918 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
3k 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
83 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" ?
12
votes
3answers
564 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
72 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
1k 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
180 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 ...