0

Sometimes symbols like variables take a plural name (fx when referring to a container), for example:

languages = ['English', 'French', 'German']

When then referring to the variable in for example documentation, should it be considered singular or plural (eg should one use singular or plural form of verbs). That is should I write:

languages contains the supported languages.

or

languages contain the supported languages.

Also note that it's a possibility that the container only contains one element.

0

1 Answer 1

5

This appears to be more about software naming conventions than English language. As you describe it, “Languages” appears to be the name of a set that may contain none, one or many languages. The set should be treated as a singular term.

2
  • The question is not about whether to call it language or languages, it's already decided to call it languages. The question is whether the symbol then should be considered a plural or singular noun, ie whether I should write "languages contain..." or "languages contains...".
    – skyking
    Jul 11, 2022 at 8:53
  • 2
    And Anton has answered that. languages is a single set, so it takes a singular verb (just as I did with is).
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 11, 2022 at 8:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.