Which one is correct? "To have a keen eye for detail" or "To have a keen eye for details"?

  • And why just one eye for that matter? Worth another question? – Endy Tjahjono Oct 29 '15 at 12:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

A problem is that this is an idiom within an idiom.

A Google search turns up:

to have a keen eye for sth synonym | English synonyms ...

dictionary.reverso.

and, to give some examples from the internet,

... have a keen eye for pigments and dyes

... have a keen eye for "fabricated" essays

... have a keen eye for details.

but I can't seem to access the promised dictionary.reverso entry.

So 'have a keen eye for' accepts count nouns. 'Have a keen eye for a bargain' is an idiom within an idiom and apparently count.

Have a keen eye for detail is a longer set expression, and obviously uses the non-count version of 'detail'. However, this does nor indicate that 'have a keen eye for details' is in any way wrong.

The former option is my best bet. A Google search showed that "a keen eye for detail" is 9 times more prevalent than the alternative.

  • I know, but I've just found the second option in a magazine article. I was wondering if it's correct as well. – Chiara May 28 '14 at 16:48

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