Hot answers tagged

4

The first is correct: I am able to avoid a pitfall into which many a student has fallen. The second could be modified to take a plural noun and still retain an equivalent meaning: I am able to avoid a pitfall into which many students have fallen. I believe the choice is just down to preference.


4

It’s a tradition thousands of years old. It’s a several–thousand-year-old tradition. It’s a many–thousand-year-old tradition. It has been a tradition for thousands of years. You could also use the adjective multi-millenial, but this sounds more formal/literary.


3

From Wiktionary: adverbial number ‎(plural adverbial numbers) (grammar) A word that expresses a countable number of times "Twice" is an adverbial number, while "two" is a cardinal number. Wikipedia has a discussion of adverbial number in, of all languages, Romanian.


2

The best answer is the opposite of what you were starting to do. It's more common to use the plural and say "Apples or oranges are both good." With mixed plurals ("they or I" or "you or we"), style guides will say to use the closer noun but there's a substantial number of native speakers who have trouble with this. The whole issue with s/v agreement and or ...


2

Many moons ago, our own tchrist wrote* … If for some bizarre reason you simply cannot bring yourself to use the normal English plural form “statuses”, then you must learn that the true plural of status is statUs, with a macro[n] over the u [i.e., statūs] and pronounced “statoose”. That’s because status comes from the ...


2

Although there are several proteases, in this case protease is a noun used attributively, and it remains singular. Protease Functions. Compare 'Bean salad.' A bean salad can have several sorts of bean in it and continues to be a bean salad. A cook can make a variety of bean salads. Someone with a healthy appetite can eat several bean salads with red ...


2

"Reflectance", like other measurable quantities like "speed" and "area", may be used as countable or uncountable. So I measured the speed of the cars (could be "speeds", but "speed" is more natural, at least to me). but The cars were all moving at different speeds. "Radiation", not being a measurement, does not pattern this way. It is usually ...


2

I don't know what skin mechanics are, but they are plural. Swing mechanics in golf, as in, all the things one does that contribute to a good swing, are plural. "The skin mechanics vary [from person to person]."


2

A millenium is an era of a thousand years. Its plural form is millenia, so "millenia-old" is one possibility.


2

The first option, "Laying on couches is boring", is correct. The word "laying" is used as a gerund here, meaning that although "lay" is a verb, "laying" is a noun. This is a singular noun, so saying "laying is boring" is just like saying "The book is boring" or "My cat is boring". "On couches" is a prepositional phrase, modifying the gerund, so basically ...


1

A standard term is 'subject-verb [dis]agreement'. Another term would be '{phrase} parity [error]'. (Agreement is accomplished by adding a plural phoneme to the verb {predicate} when the subject lacks a plural morpheme)


1

This forum has used the term "plurality" to discuss this issue. See Plurality of a group also referenced using we/our/us, so perhaps "plurality mismatch" or "plurality disagreement" would be descriptive. plurality grammar: the state of being plural --Merriam Webster


1

The phrase "a bacteria" does not contain a pronoun. The problem is the combination of the indefinite article a (which can only precede a singular noun) with the plural noun bacteria. The standard term for the matching between elements of a sentence is agreement or concord. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (p19) defines agreement as follows: A ...


1

The only example I could find was "MA", here http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/11776420_16 "We study polynomial time learning algorithms for Multiplicity Automata (MA)..."


1

'Has' is the singular auxillary verb, whereas 'have' is the plural auxillary verb. Thus, when the subject that is being referred to is singular, use 'has,' and when the subject is plural, use 'have.' "My ability" is singular. Thus, the correct word to use is 'has.' On the contrary, "my abilities" is plural, so "have been" is correct for the latter ...


1

Vacua as a plural of vacuum (cleaner) would be incorrect. In vacuum cleaner, cleaner is the noun, and vacuum is an attributive noun (a virtual adjective) specifying how the cleaner works, (compare: whisk broom, push broom, diesel engine, etc.). Note that vacuum is singular, as are most adjectives. Only the noun receives the suffix 's'. Since vacuum ...


1

Since we're not primarily looking at constructs such as governor general where there are no names mentioned, let's ignore these. For the form (Title) (Name), taking personal preferences seems to lead to a rather polarising discussion. Let's instead look first at accepted conventions with other titles, specifically Mr and the null title. Before looking at ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible