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I know that the word credentials is the plural form of credential.

And I'm referring to a single pair of username and password as credentials. Oxford dictionary also suggests that the word credentials is widely used over the word credential. Taking all these into account,

Which of the following is right?

  • The credentials that you have provided are invalid.
  • The credentials that you have provided is invalid.

EDIT: I'm referring to a single pair of username and password as credentials, That's what has made me ask this question.

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    Often times one must present more than one credential to prove themselves in a situation which why the plural form is used most often.. You have stated correctly that credentials is plural. Therefore you would use "are".
    – Skooba
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:10
  • But I will still be referring to a single pair of username and password isn't it? Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:11
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    in that specific case it could be considered that both the username and password are separate credentials as they both need to be correct to login.
    – Skooba
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:14
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    The word 'credentials', though not without a singular form, is used almost as a mass noun (with obvious plural form, and taking plural agreement) like 'details'. The singular is very rare, at least in BrE. Compare 'information' which is singular in form and takes singular agreement, which has a very rare plural form, and 'data' and 'news', plural in form but treated as a singular concept and given singular agreement. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:57
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    It may help to look at "referring to a single pair" as talking about other pairs, like shoes: I have only a single pair of shoes, and my shoes are black. Your trousers are grey. Those twins are not identical. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 5:43

1 Answer 1

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According to Merriam-Webster:
Credentials is the plural of the word credential.

It is grammatically correct to say the first option:
The credentials that you have provided are invalid.

Credentials is used over its singular form credential but it is still a plural noun.

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