Hot answers tagged

12

No, adjectives in English do not take the plural ending. Having said that, word categories are quite fluid in English, and some adjectives may be used as nouns, in which case (if they are count nouns) they will pluralise like any other noun. "Modal" is an example, though only in technical use (linguistics and programming). General examples are "blonde" ...


6

The subject is "earthquake." That is the entire subject. As such, the sentence would be written: The earthquake, along with its subsequent aftershocks, has created an atmosphere of panic among the city's residents. "Along with its subsequent aftershocks" is a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase is never part of a subject. It does not ...


5

This aspect of grammar is called the distributive plural. Swan in Practical English Usage (p530) has the following discussion: Singular and plural: distributive plural 1. people doing the same thing To talk about several people doing the same thing, English usually prefers a plural noun for a repeated idea. Tell the kids to bring ...


4

The term leitmotif is almost exclusively used in the context of music, but sometimes literature as well. Whether you use the singular form or plural form is irrelevant as long as you use it correctly. An alternate spelling is leitmotiv, plural leitmotivs. The two spellings seem to be fairly equally popular until around 1960, when the spelling leitmotif ...


4

I would suggest using was/were in the following manner:- 1) "the whole of society" and "the religious world" were strongly impacted by this new religious view. 2) The whole of "society and the religious world " was strongly impacted by this new religious view. However, I would like to reconstruct the sentence as:- Both the religious world and society as a ...


3

According to Jack Lynch, whose book The English Language: A User's Guide is well worth the modest investment for those without the patience to deal with the OED or Fowler, Many people get spooked by the plurals of proper names, but the rules aren't that different...The only difference between proper and common nouns is that the proper names ending in -y ...


3

Pets in this case refers to a class of things, not necessarily the number of members of the class. Changing that around a bit, take Studies show pets make you live longer. That doesn't imply that someone with one pet will not reap the same benefit as someone with multiple pets. It isn't specific at all.


3

These Google Ngrams appear to show that (1) both variants are in use (2) the “there are a total of" version is about twice as common (3) popularity has reversed since about 1970. People answering 'it should be ...' are choosing one of the conflicting 'rules' rather than another (and results show that they're hardly worthy of the name 'rule'). “There is ...


3

'People care way too much about their appearance' usually means that people, in general, are over-concerned with the way they look to others. Each person has only one way that they look, hence the use of the singular. 'People care way too much about their appearances' might mean that people, in general, are over-concerned with their performances [in movies, ...


3

Short answer The Subject of the sentence is the noun phrase The earthquake. The preposition phrase along with its aftershocks is not integrated into the Subject. It is parenthetical. We can show this because we can move this phrase around: Along with its subsequent aftershocks, the earthquake has created an atmosphere of panic. The verb, of course, ...


3

Either is correct, although I was taught that "None is" is more appropriate in legal proceedings, where every word matters. After subsequently reading Jon Hanna's excellent analysis in answer to a similar question on EL&U, I can only conclude that what I was taught is not correct. I encourage you to read his answer, which concludes that both uses are ...


3

I'm astonished to see that as I write, the only response is 4 users (one commenter and 3 upvoters) claiming our listeners is singular, and another comment effectively endorsing the singular usage by converting the noun phrase to a group/collection of our listeners. I can only assume this sort of nonsense somehow arises from the AmE tendency to treat ...


2

Equipments has been in continuous use as a plural form of equipment in English for centuries, as this Ngram chart tracking instances of equipments across the years years 1700–2008 indicates: However, the areas where equipments functions as an acceptable plural are rather narrow: as other answerers have noted, it is extremely unusual (and sounds flatly ...


2

The decision to write The earthquake, along with its subsequent aftershocks, has created an atmosphere of panic among the city's residents. instead of the simpler The earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks have created an atmosphere of panic among the city's residents. reflects a choice by the author to stress the idea that that the ...


2

The answer is There is a total... The rest of that sentence is a prepositional phrase. The philosophical question is whether you should use what prescriptivist grammar rules state, or what descriptivist linguists state. Both will be understood, but if your question is about the rules of grammar, the answer is is. To avoid questions about subject-verb ...


2

It depends on what meaning of experience you are using, as some meanings are countable nouns while others are uncountable. It's not clear which meaning you are asking about in your question, but we can look at the two major meanings. If you are talking about how much experience you have (e.g. work experience), it is an uncountable noun and it does not have ...


2

The original post includes 5 inter-related questions and 2 split examples... Making this tricky usage very hard to solve with examples. So here is a principle: "If the occurrence described is generalized, then the plurality of objects is also generalized." Here is an example of a specific description: "Right now people in the next room are using a phone." ...


2

Site's is not plural in that sentence. It is possessive. There must be an apostrophe between the root word "site" and the possessive suffix "s." The story belongs to the historical site. The sentence is the equivalent of saying, "the story of this historical site is beautiful." In the alternative, your coworker could be using the term "historical site" as ...


2

Life is better with a pet and life is better with pets mean very nearly the same thing because it's a general statement. In both cases a pet or pets is understood to refer to pets in general, not a specific pet or a specific number of pets. If you were putting the phrase together with a photo, you might choose the singular or plural version depending on the ...


2

Dictionary.com defines barrage (noun) as an overwhelming quantity or explosion, as of words, blows, or criticisms and defines barrage (verb) as to subject to a barrage To barrage someone with an interview is probably grammatically correct in the sense given above, but idiomatically it's pretty clunky. I'd suggest I subjected him to a barrage ...


2

My true home was the streets of Chicago. Compare that to: The streets of Chicago were my true home. Both are right.


1

"No one" is followed by singular verbs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indefinite_pronoun#Table_of_indefinite_pronouns


1

The finite verb form depends on the subject and the numerus of an object is irrelevant. He likes the book Hunger Games - He likes the books by Suzanne Collins. Even if the object is in front position it has no influence on the finite verb form.


1

What you're looking at is the principle of proximity. From the prescriptivist point of view: It's the subject that dictates subject-verb agreement, but there are times when subject-verb agreement isn't so easy and clear. A strict prescriptivist grammarian would tell you that only the following sentence is correct: An exception is situations where you... ...


1

'Each' is singular. 'None' is not singular (so it gets lumped under 'plural' {or is it 'mass'?}. None play. Each wants.


1

The question in your title is already addressed elsewhere, e.g. the site Rathony mentioned in comments (here and there). This answer addresses the ambiguity between the two sets of Jesses. Words that look the same on the printed page but differ in meaning are called homographs. The inherent ambiguity is part of its nature - they won't be homographs ...


1

Both are grammatically correct (depending on the rest of the sentences they're embedded in), but only #1 makes sense in this case. Let me give a different example that might help more: A. The employees have computers. vs B. The employees have a computer. In example A, the employees have multiple computers. This often, but not always, implies that the ...


1

"There are" would clearly be correct in that sentence. However, I often hear "There's" in common speech (and have probably said it myself on occasion). P.S. I love Gino's (former Chicagoan).


1

One of my dissertation advisees, Geoff Nathan, did his disertation on the acquisition of "there" in English, and found in his research that "there's" with a plural subject has become common (but not the uncontracted version). If you're asking about correctness, I can't help you, since that question is about social prejudice, not about the language.


1

The default grammatical number for Subjects is singular. In order to deviate from this, the Subject must be considered plural in some way. "embracing the variety of human beings" does not have any kind of plural meaning, and so we see singular agreement in the verb form.



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