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"Only those who qualify will be awarded a certificate" or "Only those who qualify will be awarded certificates"?

In this question, there is a part that I'm a little confused with. In the original question, before it was edited, this sentence appeared:

Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had entry of 'cum grano salis'

Seeing this, it kind of looked wrong to me, so I edited it to:

Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had an entry of 'cum grano salis'

However, right now, I still feel that there is something wrong. I have a feeling that it should be

"Both ...... had entries of 'cum grano salis'

If it had been "had an entry", I feel that it seems to imply both of them shared one entry.

Am I right? Should it be "had entries"? Is there anything wrong with "had an entry?" Please explain the grammar behind all this.


edit: Please explain the grammar behind all this.

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  • I'd be wary of correcting the post again, though -- it's a highly edited question, and we shouldn't turn it into a community wiki.
    – simchona
    Aug 11, 2011 at 6:48
  • @simchona, you mean if we edited it too many times, it automatically changes into a community wiki?
    – Thursagen
    Aug 11, 2011 at 6:52
  • Hmm, maybe I was wrong. But read [here] for information--a variety of things can make a post wiki.
    – simchona
    Aug 11, 2011 at 6:54
  • @Thursagen: I think simchona meant this post on community wiki Aug 11, 2011 at 7:49
  • @MattE Whoops. Thanks for reading my mind--that's definitely what I meant.
    – simchona
    Aug 11, 2011 at 17:31

3 Answers 3

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The free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries each had an entry for 'cum grano salis'

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  • This makes a lot of sense
    – Thursagen
    Aug 11, 2011 at 11:08
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To me Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had an entry of 'cum grano salis' sounds more natural. It's like each of the listed dictionaries had an entry (one, not several) on 'cum grano salis'.

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The original sentence

Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had entry of 'cum grano salis'

should be written as

Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had an entry for 'cum grano salis'

or

Both Free Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries had entries for 'cum grano salis'

The of is wrong. This is my prescriptivist opinion. Entries are for things not of things.

You are correct to state that the entry needs either an indefinite article, or to be plural.

Because the dictionaries have entries for the same thing you can decide whether or not you make entry's plurality agree with the total number of entries (2 entries - one for each dictionary) or the number of distinct entries (1 entry - one for the subject, cum grano salis).

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