My sister in law is creating a poem where she is using the word cattle. We are stuck because the line goes: “Where cattle graze miles away from the city”

We are unsure if the correct form of graze to use is graze or grazes. Because when we read it out loud the word grazes naturally comes out but is it ungrammatical to use grazes with the word cattle?

  • 5
    I graze, you graze, he grazes, we graze, you graze they graze. A cow grazes, cattle graze. – Hot Licks Sep 30 '19 at 1:36
  • 2
    @HotLicks Are you on one of those fad diets? – Cascabel Sep 30 '19 at 1:49
  • 4
    Poetry don't have to stick to no grammar. – J. Taylor Sep 30 '19 at 2:07
  • 3
    @Cascabel Although you're right that cattle is an uncountable mass noun that therefore requires "partitive" constructions like ten head of cattle for counting, it turns out that unlike nearly all such mass nouns, cattle is actually one of those famed "pluralia tantum" which by definition necessarily have no singular and take plural concord: those cattle are stampeding. You may be thinking of words like Spanish ganado or rebaño, which are both much less exotic grammatically than English cattle. – tchrist Sep 30 '19 at 4:53
  • 2
    @J.Taylor Poets it sticks to no grammar / Hit word with the liter'ry hammer / As long as they rhyme / We no give a dime / 'Cause in it we are for the glamour – marcellothearcane Sep 30 '19 at 6:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.