I've read many articles that use the term 'emergency services ' and ' location services' .

Why not service instead? Why must it be plural? Thank you

  • 1
    Why must it be plural? Who said it must? If it is plural then presumably there is more than one service.
    – Drew
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


The plural form 'services' is used mainly because most institutions typically provide not just one service, but a variety or range of services.

In fact, when a single or predominant service is provided, the singular form 'service' is often used instead of 'services' as in laundry service, answering service and courier service.


Emergency services:

Refers to the collection of emergency services. E.g.:

  • Fire service

  • Police service

  • Ambulance service

The singular form, emergency service refers to any singular emergency service (e.g., fire service).

Similarly there are a set of location services:

e.g. find my phone, location based alerts, cell network search etc. (as the photo on Apples support site demonstrates, for instance)

Apple Location Services

Location services refers to all of them, location service refers to any one of the singular services.

  • You're welcome, anytime :)
    – Gary
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 7:32

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