Which one of the following sentences is correct?

  1. The solution of Cases I and II is ...
  2. The solutions of Cases I and II are ...

Actually, I want to know whether we have to use a plural noun or a singular noun when the noun refers to two (or more) things.

Thank you

  • 1
    The answer is to determine whether you have a single solution (expressed in Cases I and II as a 'monolithic whole' or perhaps as 'parts') or multiple solutions (one in Case I and another in Case II). Neither singular nor plural serves as a universal answer.
    – Lawrence
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:09
  • 1
    solution(s) to...
    – Jim
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:10
  • @Lawrence , There is one solution for Case I and one solution for Case II. I just need to say that the solution is a matrix for a mathematical problem. Should I still assume that "solution" is only one or more? Please clarify it.
    – Milad
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:21
  • One solution: singular. Multiple solutions: plural. The number of cases isn’t relevant in your question’s sample sentences.
    – Lawrence
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


You have two solutions, one of which pertains to case I and one of which pertains to case II. You therefore use the plural "solutions".

Try, "The solutions of Cases I and II are, respectively, [solution to Case I] and [solution to Case II]."

  • Thank you for your response. What about the following sentence? 1. The number of desks in Rooms one and two is ... Or 2. The numbers of desks in Rooms one and two are ...
    – Milad
    Oct 14, 2018 at 0:34
  • "Number" means "count" or "quantity" here. Again, whether you use the singular or plural depends on whether there are two counts or only one. In other words, if you are pointing out the number of desk in room one and the number of desk in room two, you use the plural because there are two distinct counts. If, however, you are pointing out the total count of desks between both rooms, you use the singular.
    – R Mac
    Oct 14, 2018 at 1:00
  • I didn’t grab your point. Would you please clarify it in complete sentences.
    – Milad
    Oct 14, 2018 at 2:01
  • "The number of desks in rooms one and two is seven." This sentence means that there are seven desks in total between rooms one and two. "The numbers of desks in rooms one and two are four and three, respectively." This sentence means that room one has four desks and room two has three desks. Refer to my previous comment for an explanation of why this is.
    – R Mac
    Oct 15, 2018 at 19:24
  • 1
    Thank you for the example. I did totally understand. It was really important for me to grab this point.
    – Milad
    Oct 16, 2018 at 21:00

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