0

“We only shout when our argument(s) isn't/aren't loud enough."

Should it be argument or arguments? And why?

1

You're asking for two choices, one between argument and arguments, and another between isn't and aren't.

The answer is that it depends on whether you're referring to multiple arguments. If you are, then "arguments," is plural, and you use "aren't." If it's referring to only one argument, you use "isn't."

We only shout when our argument isn't loud enough.

We only shout when our arguments aren't loud enough.

I might add that this is, either way, probably a poor excuse for shouting.

1

These two expressions are essentially interchangeable, and they both sound "right." However, there is a slight difference in meaning to me. If I were being extremely precise, I would use

We only shout when our arguments aren't loud enough

if I wanted to talk collectively about all arguments to date.

On the other hand, I would be more likely to use

We only shout when our argument isn't loud enough

if I wanted to talk about the trend itself.

It's very subtle, but the plural emphasizes the arguments themselves, while the singular emphasizes the trend. Like I said, they are interchangeable, and no one will correct you if you use either one.

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.