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Full English as in full English breakfast.

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  • The plural of "full English" is "full English".
    – TimR
    Nov 19, 2015 at 22:28
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    As neither word is a noun I am wondering why either would have a plural form. Unlike in French we do not pluralise adjectives. It is a bit like asking what is the plural of yellow, or of happy, or of great big!
    – WS2
    Nov 19, 2015 at 22:31
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    If it's an abbreviation for full English breakfast the plural would be two full Englishes. (There are lots more if we're not restricted to just two! :) Nov 19, 2015 at 22:35
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    The plural of "full English" is arteriosclerosis.
    – deadrat
    Nov 19, 2015 at 22:56
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    @WS2 Some attributive usages have converted fully to nouns, accepting plurals: medicals, mobiles, waterproofs. Others seem to have gone half-way: A word in your shell-like. It seems a reasonable question to me. And I'd say 'a full English' is rarely pluralised. As yet. Nov 19, 2015 at 23:51

2 Answers 2

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It depends whether you include the word 'breakfast' (often dropped).

Two full English breakfasts please.

Two full English please.

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  • any sources/evidence? FumbleFingers seems to differ.
    – herisson
    Nov 19, 2015 at 23:32
  • @sumelic Google searches for "full English" + breakfast -"full English breakfast" // "full Englishes" // "full English breakfast" // "full English breakfasts"would seem to show that most people prefer not to omit the head noun in the plural form. Nov 20, 2015 at 0:07
  • @sumelic - I can't argue with the examples given. And on reflection I think maybe I do use - to signify plural - both full English and full Englishes. If it were an easier word to say ('Englishes') I reckon I (and others) would probably use it more. Ngrams does not find full Englishes.
    – Dan
    Nov 20, 2015 at 10:41
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I suppose it depends on the usage. If one has been asked "What will you be having for breakfast?", it would be appropriate to say "Two full English". It has already been established that you're ordering breakfast, so you're describing what type and how many breakfasts you will be ordering. The noun "breakfast" has been omitted from your reply.

If asked what you're ordering at a steakhouse, you wouldn't reply "two medium rares, one medium". You would reply "two medium rare, one medium". You shouldn't pluralize an adjective just because the noun has been omitted. This can be a bit of a gray area, though, because so many adjectives for various things can also be used as nouns. Some cases are more obvious than others. For example, when ordering martinis, you might ask for "three shaken", but you certainly wouldn't ask for "three shakens", because you simply can't do that with past participles. However, you might order "two reds" from the sommelier, indicating that you would like two glasses of red wine (or perhaps two bottles, if work was especially rough that day). In this case, though, "red" is functioning as a noun. You might also get yourself two different varieties of red wine when ordering like this.

If the menu item is explicitly named "Full English" or "The Full English", then it would be appropriate to say "Two Full Englishes", since it has been turned into a proper noun. But for "full English", I would argue that it is not yet a proper noun unto itself.

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