Evidence is supposed to be uncountable, though the form evidences is also accepted, as already discussed in the topic below: Is "evidence" countable?

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular, right? So it should it be:

"evidence supports the associations..." correct?

However, I often come across this form too: "evidence support the…"

So it leaves me unsure as to what sounds better for an academic paper: "evidence supports" or "evidence support"?

  • You will often come across incorrect English. The trick is to recognise it when you do, and you seem to have this "well in hand".
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


As @Mick said in comments :

You will often come across incorrect English. The trick is to recognise it when you do, and you seem to have this "well in hand".

The third-party singular form (evidence supports) is correct.

The third-party plural form (evidence support) is incorrect.

These ngrams might help :

Note that the plural form is included in the singular form, but the difference still is way too big.

  • @Mick I hope you don't mind my plagiarism
    – Irhala
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 16:58
  • 3
    Note that many of the evidence support instances are actually correct, as they are part of questions, e.g., Does the evidence support the conclusion? Third-person singular verbs generally work that way: Does the train run at night? No, the train runs only during the day.
    – 1006a
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 17:39

Evidence is usually a collective noncountable, and if the Ngram viewer is to be believed, usage with a plural verb is vanishingly rare. A reasonable time spent in the Ngram viewer sifted one only example from the false drops. From The Other Side of Justice by L Griggs:

You should remember that opening statements, however, are not evidence. The evidence are from the witnesses.

But evidence is not always noncountable. The OED attests to the plural evidences in the context of Christianity, particularly as to the support for a person's salvation, although it appears in other contexts as well, from particular claims like the resurrection of Christ to the religion in general.

This usage is becoming rare, if the Ngram viewer is to be believed, with current usage reduced by more than an order of magnitude from its most popular, but it is by no means extinct, as the following cites show.

From Count Your Blessings (1961) by J R Rice

So all the lovingkindness [sic], all the tender mercy which comes to one in this life are simply the evidences of the loving provision of God.

From Evidences of the Flood (1972) by W W Greenman:

Now, as the Flood covered all the earth, we might well expect to find marks and evidences of it in many parts of the earth,....

The law also uses the plural, as opposed to the collective singular as in the body of evidence, particularly when the evidence referred to is called out by type:

From Cases of Contested Elections in Congress: From the Year 1789 to 1834, Inclusive a report from the Committee on Elections issued by the House of Representataives of the United States Congress in 1834:

It is incumbent on a person contesting the election of a sitting member, to be prepared, within a reasonable time, to exhibit, in legal form, the evidences on which he intends to rely in support of the allegations contained in his petition.

Italics in the original. This passage immediately precedes the discussion of the types of evidence to be considered in a particular contested election, namely "depositions", "papers", "land lists", and "lists of voters"

From a more recent era, the journal of the Illinois House of Representatives for 1989:

... to assure the repayment of bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness.

Occasionally, the plural is used in scientific literature, an example from Indians and Archaeology of Missouri, Revised Edition (1983) by C H and E F Chapman:

There are several means by which the archaeologist can approach the problems of interpreting and explaining the evidences of the past when no written records exist.

I have avoided citing usage from sources that I felt may have been translations or where the authors might not have been native speakers.

  • The second part of this answer is probably just as relevant to the linked question, if you want to post an answer there.
    – herisson
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 17:55

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