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So my thesis for an essay is,

The American and Lane both interact with their partners in different ways and want them to have an abortion, however, Lane faces much more internal conflict, nevertheless, their partners both end up going through with the same decision of having an abortion.

Should "partners" be singular or plural? They both have different partners (girlfriends).

  • As side notes, an abortion should be abortions, unless you specify each. And one uses a space before open parenthesis. But yes, Plural partners is correct, since there are more than one. – Davo Oct 10 '17 at 22:08
  • Can I recommend breaking it up into (at least) two sentences. Even if you get all the plurals/singulars correct, it's still a horrendous long sentence to parse. – Simon B Oct 10 '17 at 22:15
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    Sorry, Alex. There is nothing clearly acceptable about that passage, which means the Question Should "partners" be singular or plural? is pointless. No part of the original should be kept… and no part can be corrected by itself. Start by asking yourself how the Question title Singular Or Plural? Thesis is internally acceptable or in fact summarizes the detail. The only thing obvious is that yes, partners is necessarily plural. How many partners do you think have parts in this story? – Robbie Goodwin Oct 11 '17 at 21:25
  • It would only be 'partner' if The American and Lane were in a ménage a trois with one woman. Otherwise it's 'partners'. – BoldBen Oct 7 '18 at 8:43
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As commented by Davo, plural partners is correct, as there are more than one.

I also agree with Simon B's comment. You would do your reader a favour if you were to break the sentence up into two or more sentences so that it is more accessible (and parsable).

(Lifetime native English speaker and nearly as long as a book editor.)

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    The other commentators are being a little too kind about the two-sentence issue, What you have written has three independent clauses joined together without any proper conjunctions (neither "however" nor "nevertheless" serves here): it is an example of a run-on sentence and needs to be rewritten as two or three sentences. See e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. And why not "in the end their partners both decided to have abortions" -- sounds less convoluted and less redundant to me than your wording. – Blaise Zydeco Oct 11 '17 at 1:40

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