Here is my sentence

Hughes writes in a style in which phonetics and stress are not fully working in tandem

Can I be understood here, and is it grammatically correct?




relating to speech sounds.

"detailed phonetic information".

By "phonetics" here I mean the style as it is relating to speech sounds.

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  • 1
    English has no such thing as a plural adjective. – tchrist Dec 23 '14 at 23:45
  • Your query sentence contains no adjectives. – Erik Kowal Dec 24 '14 at 2:48
  • I think by definition a question on ELU that asks about "plural adjectives" citing an example context that doesn't even contain an adjective at all must be Off Topic because it lacks evidence of prior research. – FumbleFingers Dec 24 '14 at 3:18
  • there are pages that hit "plural adjectives" in english, i didn't notice tho that they are only unreliable, sorry – user3293056 Dec 24 '14 at 17:06

In this usage, "phonetics" is simply a singular noun, much like "mathematics" or "physics". In addition, English doesn't have "plural adjectives".

And, yes, your sentence makes sense and is grammatically correct. If you are writing this for an expert audience, you might want to consider a word that more precisely conveys your meaning, but a general audience would understand what you mean here by "phonetics".

  • the noun "phonetics" is defined as a science, one that studies and classifies sound. i don't think i can use the noun there ... ? i mean the sound quality itself, not the science – user3293056 Dec 23 '14 at 23:06
  • Okay, that's a good point. I don't know if "phonetics" precisely conveys what you mean. However, unless you're looking for a word with a very specific meaning, it's likely to be easily understood. – wfaulk Dec 23 '14 at 23:11
  • FWIW, such a word might be "assonance", "consonance", "alliteration", "rhyme", or "rhythm". The only term I've heard that encompasses all of those things is "sound device", which is not a well-known term and is likely to be more confusing than "phonetics". – wfaulk Dec 23 '14 at 23:18
  • so, is it grammatically correct, can i legit use the plural adjective there ? i was told i was using words incorrectly, as "phonetics" means the science of. if i know that i wasn't misusing the term, that'd be amaze – user3293056 Dec 23 '14 at 23:23
  • First, English does not have plural adjectives, or any sort of declension of adjectives. Second, it is not being used in your sentence as an adjective, but as a noun. That said, while "phonetics" can refer to the science specifically, Merriam-Webster also defines it as "the system of speech sounds of a language". – wfaulk Dec 23 '14 at 23:39

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