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

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2
votes
4answers
374 views

Subject–object agreement: which of these sentences is correct?

Corporations may not have a conscience, but they do have PR departments. Corporations may not have consciences, but they do have PR departments. Corporations may not have a conscience, but ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

why “the American consumer” instead of “the American consumers”?

as in "The Survey of the American Consumer" or "The state of the American consumer". Why singular here? Thanks a lot for answering.
6
votes
3answers
22k 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' ...
0
votes
8answers
9k views

Should I say “there is a handful of…” or “there are a handful of…”? [duplicate]

I want to write that I have handful of somethings. Which of these is the correct form? There is a handful of somethings. There are a handful of somethings. Are both correct?
1
vote
3answers
103 views

Technology vs. technologies

What is the better sentence? It looks like technologies is the better word since there are many of them. However, most of the similar sentences on the Internet use the singular form technology ...
-2
votes
2answers
34 views

Anomaly I and II appear(s) to have …[or appear?] [duplicate]

This sentence is to say anomaly number 1 and number 2 have higher soil iodine concentration than other anomalous areas. Should it be plural or singular? i.e. 'appear' or 'appears'? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Using the word “quota” in plural and singular

If I need to use the word "quota" in both the plural and the singular, what is the correct form? Is it "several quota" and "one quotum" or "several quotas" and "one quota"?
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Confusable plurals with apostrophe s [duplicate]

I have a question related to already shortened words and their plural forms. As I have seen on this site and have found in the dictionary, words like mas and pas are the plural form of the shortened ...
-1
votes
0answers
51 views

Why did the author write “it were” in the sentence ending “as if it were being magnetically repelled”? [duplicate]

In her 2008 novel, A Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult wrote the following paragraph, with the part that confuses me marked in bold: The first time we filed out of our holding pen — a small room in ...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

Apostrophes and plurals of words-used-as-words (e.g., “why's and wherefore's” vs. “whys and wherefores” [duplicate]

I'm reading the English translation of Perfume by Patrick Süskind (translated by John E. Woods) and came across a sentence containing the phrase "the why's and wherefore's." With concern that this is ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Singular or plural following a list of singular items [duplicate]

Here's the sentence: I know what if, him, his, and will means/mean.
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Proper Acronym Usage With Multiple Plurals

Given that MOTU -> Master of the Universe - One master of one universe . Would the following be correct? And if not, what would be correct, and how would I answer the plural-plural problem at ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Using plural words when mentioning something in general [closed]

I am extremely weak at English grammar. I would like to ask the following sentence: 'To identify the contents of the crates or boxes, packing list will be prepared and attached outside the crates or ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is it “Paris’s cafés” but “Massachusetts’ capital”?

I’ve been studying the apostrophe and found this in Merriam-Webster’s Guide to Punctuation and Style: The possessives of proper names are generally formed in the same way as those of common nouns. ...
-2
votes
0answers
34 views

English - Grammar [migrated]

Please tell me which is the correct phrase below: One of my favorite movies or One of my favorite movie
-2
votes
0answers
29 views

Yeast: mass or plural noun? [duplicate]

I think of "yeast" as a mass noun, and the Oxford dictionary, bless its heart, agrees with me. However, Merriam Webster Unabridged says it's a singular whose plural is formed by -s. Can anyone offer ...
4
votes
4answers
702 views

“When all you hear is fear and lies”

The first time I heard it (When You Believe by Leon Jackson), my grammar instinct screamed "When all you hear are fear and lies." But then again, I feel that the phrase "all you hear are" sounds a ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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.
5
votes
3answers
117 views

Verb agreement in “Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?”

Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom? I think it should be "Where are the Messiah and his kingdom"; it just sounds better! But my friends and even a teacher claim that "is" would be correct.
-1
votes
3answers
6k views

“Need” vs. “needs” after a list [duplicate]

Is it need or needs? Highway 68 and Robinson Canyon Road need your support. Highway 68 and Robinson Canyon Road needs your support. I voted needs.
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Usage of “granularities” (in plural form)

I wonder whether it is correct to use the word "granularity" in its plural form. For example: X and Y are commonly used granularities in Z research. This study can be conducted at both ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

What's the proper usage of apostrophes in plural abbreviations? [duplicate]

If I were to abbreviate the word university, I would most likely write uni — or would uni’ be more correct? If I wanted to say universities, would I write unis or uni’s? My gut instinct would be to ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

“Set of techniques”; singular or plural? [duplicate]

I have an English course book that contains this question: Fill in the blank "The book is a set of techniques that systematically __ the learner for interaction with target language speakers". (A) ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

“For both our sake” or “for both our sakes”

Should sake be pluralized in this usage? For both our sake, I'm going to leave now. For both our sakes, I'm going to leave now.
0
votes
4answers
50 views

Percentages - singular or plural when it's a % of a group of items:

Example : 50% of paper and board produced globally is/are used for packaging?
-2
votes
1answer
57 views

“I went for a run with Victor” vs. “we went for a run with Victor” when only the two of us went [closed]

Myself and Victor went for a run, no one else. Can I say "We went for a run with Victor?" OR "I went for a run with Victor?"
4
votes
2answers
23k views

“All of this” vs “All of these”

I've read/heard people saying "all of this" and "all of these" where this and these both refer to some plural entity. Are there any differences in using this and these in this way? I'm guessing that ...
-1
votes
2answers
37 views

On Track vs On Tracks [closed]

I would like to say a project is going well but am not sure whether I should use plural for track(s) Which is best? We are on tracks vs we are on track?
3
votes
1answer
574 views

Why is the sentence “The sheep 'stray' when the gate is left open” incorrect? [closed]

The sentence should be written as "The sheep strays when the gate is left open". Does the use of the definite article, the, always makes the grammar number singular?
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Use of the plural of tang (as in taste or smell)

Discussing with friends, we decided tang (like a flavour or smell) is a noun. Smell, when pluralised is smells. Flavour - flavours. What's the plural of tang? We believe it would be simply 'tangs' ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

'is' or 'are' in lists of counted nouns [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? Does the is/are depend on the total number of things in the list, or only on the thing immediately following the is/are? There is 1 apple and 1 orange available. ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

“So many weapons and armor!” What is wrong with this sentence? And how would one fix it?

The sentence rings false in my head. Clearly this is because "weapons" is a countable noun, and "armor" is an uncountable noun. So one could fix this sentence by breaking it up into two clauses (e.g. ...
7
votes
2answers
19k views

Afterward versus afterwards — which, and/or when?

So, I've noticed over time that I see both "afterward" and "afterwards" at different times. Having a pet peeve (though I'm not certain it's actually a well-founded prejudice, lexicographically ...
0
votes
2answers
864 views

Use of single and plural in the sentence structure “one of ______ is…” [closed]

Hi I want to clarify in the following sentence: "One of the processes is brought by aversive emotional responses, and is likely to be controlled by the xxxxx pathway." We usually use "One of the ...
8
votes
9answers
2k 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...
50
votes
14answers
9k views

One of us is wrong, aren't we?

I have just learned from what I consider a reliable source, that the following sentence is correct: One of us is wrong, aren't we? I would never in my life have written this, but I am assured ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is it hour or hours when used in a phrase? [duplicate]

I recently joined a company as a trainee and we have to skype our priorities or task that we are gonna do on that day. For example, people write priorities like this: 1. HTML/CSS training - [0.5 ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

“Please, cut the apple in halves.” or “Please, cut it in half.”?

I've heard native speakers use "half" but never "halves" in such sentences. If we cut an apple into two identical pieces, we get two halves. It shouldn't, therefore, sound wrong if one used ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“What I'm looking for is”

Which one of the below is correct, or, if both are correct in certain contexts, which is the preferred one? What I'm looking for is methods that help... or What I'm looking for are the ...
7
votes
4answers
672 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it correct to use the word 'etiquettes' for plural?

One of my friends argues with me that the plural for etiquette is etiquettes and for fish it is fishes. I was taught since ever that etiquette is plural as fish does. To support his statement he ...
3
votes
5answers
38k views

When to use 'ourselves' vs. 'our self'

I wrote when we place our self meaning each one of us, his or her self -- and was told to use "ourselves" instead. Who is right?
37
votes
8answers
3k views

Why is there no plural indefinite article?

The takes either a singular or a plural subject. A/an only takes the singular. When we pluralize a noun preceded by an indefinite article, we simply drop the article (sometimes replacing it with ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

What do we call the “rd” in “3ʳᵈ” and the “th” in “9ᵗʰ”?

Our numbers have a specific two-letter onomatopoeia combination that tells us how the number sounds. For example 9th 3rd 301st What do we call these special sounds? --EDIT-- As mentioned in the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

“What tools is everybody using?” or “What tools are everybody using?” [closed]

I often see "What tools is/are everybody using?" and other sentences of same form used with both is and are. Which one is the correct way to write the question? What tools is everybody using? ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Telecommunication(s)

Are telecommunication and telecommunications interchangeable, or are there some contexts where one is preferred? For example, the Wiki page on “Telecommunication” has a section entitled ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Plural of table leaf

In the context of a table leaf, what is the correct plural term, "table leafs" or "table leaves"?
30
votes
9answers
27k views

Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular?

I'd say Microsoft have a way of bending the rules and I know that McLaren have won the championship. While this sounds strange, I believe it is correct English (sorry, I'm not native). But when it's ...