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Is it correct to use softwares, as in the following sentence?

There are various video conversion softwares in the market.

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    @roman, What's wrong with the word maths? It's the standard abbreviation of mathematics everywhere except the USA. There's nothing specifically Indian about it.
    – TRiG
    Nov 13, 2010 at 17:15
  • @TRIG: there you have it "except the USA". I'm used to hearing "math" vs "maths", that's why "maths" sounds wrong to me [no offense to Indian people :D]
    – roman m
    Nov 13, 2010 at 20:51
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    I believe this issue arises because people started using software as a short form for software program.
    – rest_day
    May 22, 2011 at 5:59

4 Answers 4

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For all I know, software is uncountable, so it's perfectly fine to say "there is various software". If you don't like how that sounds (I know many people who don't), you can always go with "there are various software packages", "there are various pieces of software" or something like that. An even simpler alternative would be "programs". Depending on the context of your sample sentence, even "video converters" might work, if it's already clear that you are talking about software.

Edit: I have checked Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary and The Free Dictionary, none of them mention softwares at all.

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    Agreed, it is uncountable and "softwares" sounds very wrong.
    – Jonik
    Oct 18, 2010 at 13:36
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    Agreed. Common error I have to correct in non-native writing (particularly from speakers of languages where "software" or a contraction "soft" is used as a countable loan word, including French, Dutch and German). Oct 18, 2010 at 19:53
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    my softwarez is borkened.
    – Claudiu
    Nov 13, 2010 at 22:45
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    As a native speaker and in the field of programming software, I honestly cannot remember ever having used 'software' with an 's.' In fact, I am sure I have never used it. Many times I have said something like 'We will need to / create / use / buy this software.' If I wanted to use it in the plural, it immediately becomes an adjective to describe something else 'software solutions, software programs, software <some noun with an s>
    – user658182
    Oct 22, 2012 at 5:03
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    "There are various pieces of software", is what I'd use.
    – Joe Z.
    Mar 13, 2013 at 19:47
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Just a note to clear up any confusion: I believe the answer provided by RegDwight is correct; but I also want to point out that because the word "software" is uncountable, there is no such thing as a "plural form."

What I mean is this: don't misinterpret the accepted answer to imply that the following sentence is correct:

The company Microsoft produces many software.

The above is problematic for the same reason that the following sentence is problematic:

My bottle is full of many water.

So again: to answer your question directly, there is no plural form. Software is like water; you can have "a lot" of it, but you can't have "many" (or "dozens", or "hundreds", etc.) of it. You can, however, as the other answers have already indicated, have "many pieces of it" (just like you can have "many bottles of water").

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  • Prefer "much" to "a lot of" in this context.
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 18, 2011 at 20:24
  • I agree with this answer, that "software" is uncountable. But oddly, Wolfram has an ad campaign for Mathematica going right now with the slogan "One software to rule them all." I think that's a mistake, but it's unusual for a reputable geek company like that to let a grammar error slip out. Maybe the countable usage of "software" is creeping into accepted English.
    – LarsH
    Oct 31, 2013 at 19:54
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    Intersting. Consider people. It is countable in some cases and uncountable in others. We can say the "People of Europe" to mean all individual "persons" in Europe. We can also say the "Peoples of Europe" to mean the various population groups of Europe.
    – user148298
    Nov 26, 2018 at 15:26
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I avoid that by saying "software products".

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    Other options: software solutions, applications, programs.
    – Jonik
    Oct 18, 2010 at 13:33
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    Or "They sell many types of software".
    – slm
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:02
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I would use programs instead:

There are various video conversion programs in the market.

Software, in my opinion, is better used as the general concept (as opposed to hardware, say). All of the programs on my PC are software. My hardware consists of a CPU, memory, fans, screen, etc.


Oh, and also I can't resist to refer to the recently common half-joke codes (as in "plz show me the codes" so frequent in certain programming forums).

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    Get your memes straight. It's "Gimme-teh-codez!"
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 18, 2011 at 20:28
  • Software and program can mean the same things but often do not. A program is typically a single entity, whereas, software is typically many programs working together in a system.
    – slm
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:05

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