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Suppose I have a list:

  • 2 oranges,
  • 3 kiwis, and
  • 1 (+1) apples.

The second apple was added to the basket by someone else, but is of equal importance. Is the plural of apples correct, or should it be singular?

I have searched and could not find an answer, but I am also not sure how exactly to search for this question. I think these are similar questions, but am not quite sure how to relate it to this case:

Finally, this question Should I pluralize based on an item in parentheses is very similar, but in my case there is no flow to break, and both apples are the subject (?).

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Bulletpoint lists are broadly governed by the lax and varied guidance on headlines. They are there to supply information, not provide examples of grammar.

If you want some justification for choosing one form over another, ask yourself

Q: "In reality, and as a fact, how many apples do I have?"

A: "One plus another one."

Q: "Is one plus one, two?

A: "Yes."

Q: "Is "two apples" plural?"

A: "Yes." - use the plural.


The alternative is to speak the list as if it were a sentence:

"I have 2 oranges, 3 kiwis, and an apple, and then another one."

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  • So you'd use '½ (+ ½) pork pie' ? – Edwin Ashworth May 2 at 15:08
  • @EdwinAshworth. I note the question does not refer to halves. Had it done, I might (or might not) have answered (and argued) differently. :) – Greybeard May 2 at 15:20
  • So, the question is POB. – Edwin Ashworth May 2 at 16:00
  • ................ POB? – Greybeard May 2 at 16:18
  • In-house shorthand. 'Primarily opinion-based' (an old explicit C-V reason; usually means 'there is no single 'right' answer; recommendations from 'authorities' / contributors will conflict (in your case, depending on the exact nature of the parenthetical). – Edwin Ashworth May 2 at 16:46

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