Can I use Cost savings in the following sentence as a singular term?

Cost savings is often seen with these program.


2 Answers 2


The word savings, like clothes or thanks, is a plural and must take a plural verb:

His clothes are all over the bedroom floor.

His savings are in a Swiss bank account.

I'm not overly familiar with the context and usage of the term cost savings, but I assume it conforms to this convention.

Cost savings for this quarter are the largest we've had for years.

Contrast this with other nouns which may appear to be plural but are in fact singular, such as athletics or mathematics:

Mathematics is my favourite subject.

  • 1
    I'll note that in American English, it's fairly common for savings to be treated as a singular noun. A savings of $20 is quite a lot, etc.
    – Dusty
    Dec 7, 2011 at 23:24
  • @Dusty: Quite true, as noted in your links above. But you'll find very few instances of that usage being extended to a cost savings Dec 7, 2011 at 23:55
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    @Dusty, thanks, I admit to having heard that term used also (here in Australia). But I would say that 'savings' in that context is being used incorrectly; it should probably be 'A saving of $20 ...' Dec 8, 2011 at 0:13
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    @Snubian: "A saving of $20 ..." sounds much worse to this American than "A savings of $20 ..."; To me, that's like fixing the bad grammar in "buy a clothes" by changing it to "buy a cloth". I would recommend "Savings of $20", keeping it plural and dropping the article. But even in American English, without any dollar amount, "Cost savings" should definitely be plural. Dec 8, 2011 at 0:23
  • @PeterShor, I understand where you're coming from, but 'Savings of $20 is quite a lot' sounds worst of all to me. I would say that the fact is 'saving' is singular and 'savings' is plural. This dictates the verb that follows. You could say A saving of $20 is ... or Savings of $20 are ... Dec 8, 2011 at 0:26

The word "savings" is singular or plural depending on what it's referring to. If you are talking about savings for a single object, it is singular... "The savings for this event IS...". If the object is plural, then "savings" becomes plural... "The savings experienced by those businesses ARE..."

  • No, What you mean is that savings like dollars can be construed as having a singular meaning. But "The savings for this one event were not enough" disproves your answer. As does "The savings experienced by those businesses is much more than expected."
    – pazzo
    Feb 21, 2015 at 19:42

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