Here's one for the English professors:
I originally came across this problem when answering a question here. We all know that tense refers to the temporal form of a verb. "Act, acted, will act, has acted, will have acted" - these are all examples of tense.
Tense is a classification of form.
Another type of form is the singular or plural nature of a noun.
However, if we use the word "form" without specifying it as "singular form" or "plural form," it is vague - form by itself can imply tense, singularity / plurality, or even whether we are using a word in its noun form, verb form, adjective form, or adverb form.
The word "number" is the closest thing I have found to a real answer, BUT if we say
The 'number' of the subject noun is plural.
this sounds extremely confusing and vague, at least to me, because 'number' implies a specific value.
So unless we have a technical term in this context, we have a 'number' of choices (no pun intended):
- Numerical Form
- Numeral Form
- Numeric Form
- Numerality (this seems to work, but I have never heard it used that way)
- Plurality ('The plurality of the subject is singular' doesn't quite work as I read it.)
I finally settled on using 'numerical form,' but I'm still a bit confused in this situation. Does anyone (possibly someone with a degree in English or an English teacher) have a textbook / definitively correct answer for this?
Thank you for and insight you may be able to provide.