In the online game Travian, the following sentence is used:

Your barracks is finished. A good step towards world domination.

Shouldn’t it instead be:

  • Your barracks are finished.


  • Your barrack is finished.

"Barracks" can be either singular or plural.

Plural in the context of "one barrack, two barracks," etc.

But "barracks" could also refer to a COMPLEX of military installations. In that case, "your barracks is finished," means "your military complex is finished," singular.

Yes, it's "computergamese."


No, oddly enough, barracks is a singular as well as a plural. Barrack exists, but only in barrack block, one constituent of a barracks, or metaphorical contexts such as 'a gloomy barrack of a place'. And many computer games allow you to put a Barracks (and, e.g. a Temple) in each of your cities: I would think "Your Barracks are finished" would mean you have one in each city, similar to "Your Temples are finished".

  • 1
    Here's an excerpt with a barracks was and the barracks is in two consecutive sentences for any who still doubt. – FumbleFingers Jul 26 '11 at 14:01
  • 2
    Since this seems to have drawn interest: a barracks, to the military mind, is not a military base, but a compound where troops live, typically comprising a mess hall, an ablutions block, and several large dormitory/kit storage buildings. Each of these is a barrack, but to avoid confusion the plural is generally barrack blocks or barrack-rooms – TimLymington Jul 27 '11 at 10:03

In United States Army usage a barracks is one building. It is equipped with beds, wall lockers, footlockers and a latrine, or bathroom, but not dining facilities. Soldiers live there. One building, a barracks usually housing one platoon of soldiers, is never called a barrack.


I LIVED in "a barracks" for 3 years. I know I have never heard anyone in the Army, where "barracks" of all kinds to ostensibly exist, refer to "a barrack" or "the barrack" in ANY way.

This is the usage that dominates the term, there is no way to countermand this with some habits of video game designers or players, or anyone or anything else in the universe of language use where constricted to "everyone who has business using the word, known as "barracks""

According to US, there is no "barrack" except, as said above, in the form "Barrack block", in other words as an adjective. But that is an exception even then, because when you are on "barracks duty" of some kind, it is also an adjectival form.

The straight skinny is that barracks is the word, forget "barrack" as if it didn't exist. I live in "a barracks", and my barracks is in a compound which holds other barracks as well. Singular and plural.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.