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Sometimes you come across this format suggesting 'one or more', in not as many words, like "Please select the book(s) you wish to loan". But what happens in that case of plurals that don't follow the same standard like Entry (Entries)?

Is it

1 of 1 entry(s) selected

or

1 of 1 entrie(s) selected?

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 6:18

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  • Soetimes I may see entry(ies) I think. – GEdgar Aug 1 '14 at 0:30
  • 1 of 1 entry(ies) selected may also work. However, use of the plural in such cases is quite the norm. 1 of 1 entries selected should be fine. – Kris Aug 1 '14 at 5:12
  • Also relevant: english.stackexchange.com/questions/186734/… – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 6:15
  • I've plumped for one existing question to mark this a duplicate of, but in the sidebar of that question there are many more. – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 6:19
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Well, it's very easy to rule out the first option (since “entrys” is not a word).

Let's forget the prepositional phrase (“of N word-to-be-decided”) for now. How would you phrase the sentence with varying numbers?

“0 entry selected” or “0 entries selected”?

(Ignoring that many style guides will tell you spell out the numeral), the latter is correct.

“1 entry selected" or “1 entries selected”?

As with the last example, this one is pretty clear; the former is correct. Every number beyond one (since it will be plural and will require agreement) will be correct with “entries.”

All right, let's add back the prepositional phrase now. Which would be correct?

“0 of 1 entry selected“ or “0 of 1 entries selected”?

Unlike before, the former is correct. There is only one entry and “entry” must agree with the number in the prepositional phrase. (Note that if you expanded the sentence with a state-of-being verb, it would still be pluralized to agree with zero: “0 of 1 entry are selected.”)

This means that “entry” would be used whenever the number of available entries is one and “entries” should be used otherwise.

As a result, there is no way to add a basic pluralization in parentheses and have it function for all cases. (Though some computer science-minded folk might recommend “1 of 1 entr{y,ies} selected”, it is not common practice.)


Tl;Dr: Neither is correct; You should use “entry” when the available number of entries is one, else use “entries”

  • This is why I love the English language. So versatile yet so contradictory. However, I am trying to find the format for "one or multiple" in one word. Entry(s), Entrie(s), or as @GEdgar suggested, Entry(ies)? – Ben Aug 1 '14 at 1:48
  • There isn't one so far as I know. The closest you will get in common usage is “entry (or entries)”. (which, of course, does not meet your one-word criterion) – HalosGhost Aug 1 '14 at 1:54
  • Thanks for the input. If no one else provides something on this topic, I'll mark this as the answer :) – Ben Aug 1 '14 at 2:12
  • Just say Please select the books you wish to loan. That applies to zero or more books. If you ever need to explicitly specify one or more (as opposed to zero or more), then this is how to do that: one or more. ;-) – Drew Aug 1 '14 at 4:57
  • Anyway, do not use one or multiple. Use either (a) single or multiple or (b) one or more. In this question you mean (b), not (a). – Drew Aug 1 '14 at 5:00

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