When I have to use information and performance I'm always confused.

However, I'm asking whether when I'm referring to more than one piece of information of performance I should use "information/performance is" or "information/performance are."


First, "information" is always written "information". Even when referring to more than one datum.

Secondly, "performance/Performances" is used based on the context. When referring to separate events, then "performances" is used. However, if referring to the same event "performance" is used:

Here's the information regarding the performance of HAP in the first test.(One event)
Here's the information regarding the performances of HAP in the three tests (Because this refers to separate events, "performances" is used)

Although the "performance" in the first test might refer to several different actions such as running, jumping, swimming, etc. (depends what the test is), because it still refers to one event taking place, one entity occurring, "performance" is used.

Not until, there are two separate things happening, is "performances" used.

Also note, in both cases, "information" not "informations" is used. that's because "informations" is wrong. It can only be used in certain places, as most instances of "information" are uncountable. In the legal sense, however, "informations" is used.

  • I'm assuming because we're discussing plurality, the OP is asking about the nouns. Therefore "performance of HAP" is not a valid example because that uses the adjectival form. – Codie CodeMonkey Sep 14 '11 at 21:12
  • 1
    It's definitely a noun. Think about it. "performance of HAP". "of Hap" is an adjectival prepositional phrase, but "performance" is a noun, being modified by the adjectival prepositional phrase – Thursagen Sep 14 '11 at 21:14
  • 1
    You're right! I was being an idiot! :-) – Codie CodeMonkey Sep 14 '11 at 21:15
  • @Thursagen. Thanks...btw, if I'm referring to a programming language. Is it correct to say "the performance are now better with respect to the other versions?" – Maverik Sep 14 '11 at 21:19
  • 2
    I'd think you would say "The performance is now better with respect to the other versions." – Thursagen Sep 14 '11 at 21:25

In American English, you always use is with information and performance, even if you are referring to more than one piece of information or more than one performance. You may be being confused by data, which can be both a singular or a plural noun; but there are very few nouns like that in American English.

Information is an uncountable noun, like water. You don't say an information or informations. You say

a piece of information

if you want to specify that there is only one.

Performance, if you are talking about the performance of a piece of software, is also uncountable. To make it singular, I would use a phrase like

the performance in this instance ... .

If you are talking about theatre, it's countable: "I went to a performance of Hamlet yesterday."

  • 1
    I agree that performance can be countable, but not that you "always use is with information and performance." Your own answer contradicts that principle, because using "is" in your example would be terrible grammar: "The performances of Hamlet is enjoyable" makes my ears bleed! – ect Sep 15 '11 at 1:56
  • You use is with information and performance, and are with performances. Sorry I wasn't clearer. You'd use are with informations, too, if you ever had some reason to use the plural (I can't think of one). – Peter Shor Sep 15 '11 at 2:40
  • And of course, you can use the plural of information in a technical context: Both the Shannon and Rényi informations are .... – Peter Shor Aug 15 '12 at 19:08
  • I have to correct you. If you are talking about more than one performance then you use the plural "performances" and you use "are". I think you are confusing the concept of abstract nouns of quality, which have no plural. In this case "performance" is not like "information", it's like "intelligence", "information" is never a quality. Something can have good performance or high intelligence. Both words have such an abstract sense that cannot be pluralized as well as another sense that can be pluralized. "Information" cannot be pluralized for different reasons. – hippietrail Sep 26 '17 at 2:09

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.