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Possible Duplicate:
Was the usage “Spaghetti were” ever acceptable or common?
What does Maugham mean by “his spaghetti were”?

Is it proper to say spaghettis for more than one spaghetti noodle? What about macaronis as a plural for more than one macaroni noodle?

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    This supermarket has five different spaghettis; which one should I get? – GEdgar Mar 12 '12 at 23:25
  • Notwithstanding my wincing at paninis (see below), this specialized use of spaghettis sounds quite natural to me, if rare. – CynicallyNaive Aug 9 '17 at 1:04
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No, we would use spaghetti, linguini etc. We would refer to a one spaghetti noodle as "a piece of spaghetti" perhaps. On the other hand we would refer to a noodle versus noodles. In the UK noodles is more commonly used for asian foods whereas Italian we would lump under pasta - and UK pasta is sadly often lumpy ;-)

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    I'm told that pasta and vegetables are treated the same in the UK -- boiled into submission. – Gnawme Mar 12 '12 at 23:14
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The Macmillan Dictionary lists spaghetti, linguine (or linguini), and macaroni all as uncountable nouns (meaning that they don't have a plural form).

However, Macmillan lists both pizza and lasagna as countable/uncountable, but doesn't elaborate. (Merriam-Webster lists pizzas as a valid plural of pizza, and notes that the plural of lasagna is lasagne.)

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    Lasagne al forno is the dish, whereas lasagna is the dried pasta. Lasagne is plural because it is made up of more than one flat sheet of pasta (lasagna) – Mari-Lou A Jul 21 '13 at 22:09
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    @Mari-LouA Thank you. I appreciate getting a clarification from a native speaker. – Gnawme Jul 22 '13 at 15:20
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It's done very much on a case-by-case basis: some words follow the Italian singular/plural, but many don't.

Generally pasta things like spaghetti, macaroni, linguini are used for the uncountable (although it's linguine in italian.) For a single piece, you say "a piece of ...".

However, we say one pizza and two pizzas (not two pizze). And we say one panini and two paninis, even though in Italian panini is already plural and a single is panino

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  • Unless you're Simon Heffer. – Barrie England Mar 12 '12 at 22:06
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    Pizza and panini can be used as mass nouns as well, as in I had panini for lunch and leftover pizza for dinner. – choster Mar 13 '12 at 16:18
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    It pains me every time I have to order "a panini". But still better than the weird look you'd get for ordering a panino – andybuckley Nov 10 '16 at 17:03
  • Butchering Italian into a plural plural pains me so much that I prefer the weird look of ordering a panino to the pain. I probably speak very clearly or nod so that they understand what I'm talking about. But I would order two cappuccinos; speaking of multiple cappuccini or multiple pizze in an English sentence is too pretentious even for my taste. – CynicallyNaive Aug 9 '17 at 1:01

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