Is the following phrase grammatically correct? I am confused about the position of the adverb successfully and if the term future can be pluralized.

. . . successfully prepare all students for their futures

  • The phrase is perfect, with each word ideally placed and inflected. Whether you need the adverb successfully (which seems redundant) or can upgrade the Latinate prepare to the Saxon ready, is another question. Good luck. – thb Apr 5 '15 at 17:49
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    The question title doesn't appear to be related to the question body. – snailplane Apr 5 '15 at 18:06
  • Well, @MariusHancu's answer probably supersedes my comment. Thanks, Marius. Good point. – thb Apr 5 '15 at 18:09

There is something wrong about it. It is preferred as:

'successfully prepare all students for their future'

In such contexts, "future" is considered by the large majority as uncountable and singular, even though it relates to a multitude of people.

At Google Books (do NOT use vanilla Google):

"prepare them for their future" About 29,100 results

"prepare them for their futures" About 304 results

Thus the plural is used by some authors trying to emphasize that those futures are separated, individual, but that is quite unusual (about 100 to 1!).

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  • I like your technique. I am curious: can one apply the technique to this question? english.stackexchange.com/q/237679/25823 – thb Apr 5 '15 at 18:09
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    Although only 25% of the first 40 results in your "prepare them for their future" search were appropriate. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 5 '15 at 18:53

Yes. There's nothing apparently wrong about it. Maybe the context might make your doubts more clear.

Also, this has nothing to do with American English versus British English.

I agree with Marius that the plural "futures" does sound a bit odd. I didn't think anything of it, though, because there are multiple students. I don't think it would make a significant difference either way.

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