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.

Pluralization options:

  • Selected 1 entry (correct)
  • Selected 2+ entries (correct)

But if I want to include the total as well:

  • Selected 1 of 1 entries (is this correct? it sounds correct to me)
  • Selected 0 of 1 entries (is this correct?)
  • Selected 1 of 2 entries (correct)

I know it's trivial, but these little details matter to me..

EDIT: If the count is the max, another option is to express this as:

  • Selected all 2 entries (correct)
  • Selected all 1 entry (this doesn't sound correct? is it?)
  • 1
    You can never say *one entries. – tchrist Jul 24 '14 at 4:23
  • @tchrist i added an edit.. would it be singular there as well? – kefs Jul 24 '14 at 4:44
  • 1
    I also think "1 of 1 entry" is correct. However, expressions such as "1 of 1 entries" are quite common, for example on Facebook ("There are 1 new items" on your timeline, etc.). Give that this distinction can easily be taken care of in any programming language, I'd go for correct grammar. – painfulenglish Jul 24 '14 at 5:37

Using entries for a single entry is not correct, which can be demonstrated by describing them/it. Adding an adjective to break up a standard expression helps analysis because it’s no longer the customary expression which “just is”:

There is 1 available entry (Indisputably correct)
Selected 1 of 1 available entry (Follows by analogy)

There are 2 available entries (Indisputably correct)
Selected 1 of 2 available entries (Follows by analogy)

There are 1 available entries (Indisputably wrong)
There is 1 available entries (Indisputably wrong)
Selected 1 of 1 available entries (Wrong by analogy)

Using “1 of 1 entries” probably sounds right because

  • it’s very common
  • the “1 of” implies that there is more than one available, and therefore entries might be expected to follow it.

but just because “everyone does it” doesn’t make it correct.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.