Questions tagged [grammatical-number]

This tag applies to questions that deal with grammatical number: “singular” versus “plural”, and (rarely) also “dual”.

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How many countries are listed in “France, England, Scotland and the UK”? [closed]

I have four papers, each describing a separate clinical trial. The papers state trial locations as France, England, Scotland and the UK (without specifying where). I want to say that the trials were ...
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There is/There are [duplicate]

As a general rule, we use there is when its followed by a singular noun and there are when the noun that follows is plural. However, there is that particular line in one of Harry Potter movies that ...
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Electoral system or Electoral systems? [migrated]

What are the difference and meanings of Example 1: Electoral system (singular) Electoral systems (plural) Note the page title below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system https://consoc.org....
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-1 votes
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Should I write "Credit Card Monitoring System" or "Credit Cards Monitoring System"? [duplicate]

We are producing a system which is monitoring different credit cards information. However we are not sure if we should use singular or plural in this case: "Credit Card Monitoring System" &...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Use of pos­ses­sive apos­tro­phe with the sec­ond word of a com­pound proper noun like “Aus­tralian States”

I have a rel­a­tively sim­ple ques­tion, but I am just a lit­tle con­fused and po­ten­tially mis­in­formed. My un­der­stand­ing is that when plu­ral­is­ing a pos­ses­sive noun, you add an apos­tro­phe ...
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There are/is a bottle and a plate in the kitchen? [duplicate]

Which one of these sentences is grammatically correct? Question is not about compound subjects, it is about a singular and plural subject joined by 'and'. There are a bottle and a plate in the ...
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1 answer
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Can Idea + s after Endless (adj.)? [closed]

Can Idea + s come after endless (adj.)? = Endless Ideas? Is that correct? Because I wonder endless should be uncountable.
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Is this grammatically correct - "The fibre in cereal help us feel fuller" [duplicate]

There's a disagreement going down on this subreddit thread as to whether the sentence is grammatically correct. It's taken from a cereal ad: The argument is: "The fibre in Sultana Bran help us ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Noun + Nouns - Singular or plural

I am having difficulty expressing something in shorter form. For instance, I am writing that Something results in two fermion propagators and another photon propagator emerging in some diagram. I ...
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0 answers
49 views

Less than two, Plural or Singular

There is/are less than two samples. (Discrete space) (It is clear that for numbers like 3 or 4 the right word is "are" as we could have multiple samples, but using 2 we could only have ...
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1 answer
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“What are” or “What is” in a quiz?

I want to ask a typical quiz question for children. In a park, there are 10 bird boxes attached to several trees. The answer in this particular case is plural: bird boxes. Which question is correct? ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How is the singular noun "vote" used compared to the plural "votes"?

Being a big fan of fivethirtyeight.com, and political nerdishness in general, I have repeatedly run into a plural use of the singular nominal 'vote,' most often in the phrase 'percentage of vote.' ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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"There are fish of every hue." For different kinds of fish, should fish be in plural form here?

In the Caribbean waters, there are fish of every hue. Since one is talking about different kinds of fish, should fish be in marked plural form (fishes) here?
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pronunciation of plural words ending in "-ses" derived from non-Greek language [duplicate]

I hear TV journalists pronounce plurals like "biases" and "processes" with the long e sound. Can you comment on this conflation of pronunciation?
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1 answer
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Do we use verb + s/es after singular they? [duplicate]

I am not an American. I think it is in America where they invented the idea of singular they. You don't know the gender of someone, you refer to him/her as they. I am thinking if I should use the verb ...
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Correct use of both for a pair of adjectives with a singular or an uncountable noun

I would like to know which of the following sentences is correct: we investigate a new problem, where both a decisional and a switching variable is a control at disposal of the agents; we investigate ...
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Was vs Were in list with number disagreement

I'm unsure whether to use 'was' or 'were' in describing this list. There [was/were] food, games, performances, and much more. I want to divide the list down singular vs plural lines: There were ...
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2 answers
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Should I use the plural or singular verbs for the biological classification of orders, families, tribes, genera etc.?

Some examples from Wikipedia: The hydrangea is a genus... The Heliantheae (sometimes called the sunflower tribe) are the third-largest tribe in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The family ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the best way to reword the parenthetical plural "diagnosis(es) and remedy(s)"?

What is the best way to word the following sentence? A diagnosis(es) and remedy(s) remain elusive as we continue to seek help from various medical professionals. Since diagnosis ends in -is, should ...
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Look or looks following a company name? [duplicate]

Should it be... Bupa look to the rest of the world to source xyz... or Bupa looks to the rest of the world to source xyz...
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How do we treat nouns that are theoretically plural but each has individuality and each belongs to a separable instance [duplicate]

Context: This is a question from a Chinese high school English exam. Sorry my wording might be a little bit clumsy. Unfortunately I don't know what is the right terminology here. Please have a look at ...
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1 answer
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Should I use "your support" or "your supports" when talking to two or more people? [duplicate]

In this instance, I am referring to two people, so the your is plural. My question is if I should use "support" or "supports". Support can be talking about the collective aid of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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the semi-final (singular) meaning the team's advancement level in the tournament [closed]

If you meant to convey that they won their quarter-final game and are now going to play at the semi-final level (in a single-elimination tournament), you would often say 'The team advanced to the semi-...
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Is a brand singular or plural? [duplicate]

Collective nouns are so confusing. I saw a grammar tip that says using singular form for a company, but I have a tendency to make it plural. 1: The technology of Nike is extremely amazing. And it is ...
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Does "chromatography" have plural (chromatographies)?

Chromatography is a chemical method which can be performed in different ways. Some of main types are liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, size exclusion chromatography. Oxford dictionary ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Number of undos? One undo - Many undos?

I'm creating an Andriod app/game. There you do moves and I'm counting the number of moves that's done. Then it is also possible to undo one or many moves. What would you call it when counting the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
23 views

"Have seen" or "had seen" him recently [duplicate]

In the statement: "We _____ him several times recently. So we recognized him easily." Which will fill the correctly, "have seen" or "had seen"? At first I thought it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Use of "the" in front of plural nouns

I have a question around using 'the' in front of plural nouns. Students who work hard are likely to get good grades. The students who work hard are likely to get good grades. Are these two sentences ...
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0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Is 'Juice' Singular or Plural In This Sentence? [duplicate]

"How much juice can you afford?" I am confused by this because it is asking about the quantity of juice that can be bought. How would one know if it is referring to a single container of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Should the three nouns shown in bold in this sentence be singular or plural? [duplicate]

Should the three nouns shown in bold in this sentence be singular or plural? The pastor shares that he has seen several people in the hospital take their last breath at the very moment that he prayed ...
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3 votes
2 answers
103 views

What do you call this example (I'd describe it as an "implied singular")? [duplicate]

Take this sentence I found: "Too many services enabled on the firewall and switches leave an organization susceptible to compromised security." I think "leaves" is appropriate ...
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'The punch of keys' or 'the punches of keys'?

No need to delay The punch of keys That crunch of ease As if the screen didn't freeze This is a poem I'm writing. I need punch to go with crunch. The problem is, it probably has to be 'the punches of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Making uncountable nouns plural vs regular plural nouns [duplicate]

There are several different types of happiness. There are many different kinds of government. There are many types of golf balls. Since we are talking about different types of happiness would you ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Is it investigation or investigations?

The sentence is about someone who researched more about a old notebook. I did some more investigation/s about it. Is investigation or investigations right and why?
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0 votes
1 answer
46 views

how do you refer to more than one "scope and sequence"

If you are referencing a collection, is it called Scope and Sequences, Scopes and Sequences, or what would be the rule for the plural form of this phrase?
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Data don't lie or Data doesn't lie? [duplicate]

Which form is more appropriate and why? Data don't lie or Data doesn't lie
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0 votes
1 answer
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"Foot" or "feet" when referring to rope?

My friend, when referring to his landlord, said: "what she could do with is 9 foot of rope" I say it should be feet of rope, not foot. He says both can be correct: 'when referring to height ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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The distribution of *by*-phrases in complex nominals

I was recently reading page 39 of Surface Structure [1980] by Robert Fiengo when I stumbled upon the following dataset: (1a) The suggestion of a different tactic by John (1b) *The suggestion of depth ...
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5 votes
1 answer
258 views

Origin of "the likes of which X has [or have or had] never seen"

One of Donald Trump's favorite rhetorical flourishes was (and perhaps still is) the wording "the likes of which X has [or have] never seen." While president, he used it on a number of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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If "what" is used in place of a plural noun as a subject, is the preceding verb singular?

The title may be confusing, so let me give an example: They are what stops him from achieving success. This seems strange to me, as "They" is plural while "stops" is in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Word choice of "much" vs "many", like "too many hours", but "too much time" [duplicate]

Why is it called: "Too much time", but "Too many hours"? When you Google "too much or too many" you get: Much is always used together with an uncountable noun (like 'oil'...
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0 votes
0 answers
21 views

there's lots to do OR there are lots to do? [duplicate]

I have been asked by my student that which one is correct considering plurality and singularity of the word, there's lots to do or there are lots to do?
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1 vote
4 answers
148 views

Singular use of “the young” to mean animal offspring?

The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University has a webpage about butterflies in which I read the following: Butterflies, moths, beetles, flies and bees have complete metamorphosis. The young (...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Plural or singular object that belongs to them [duplicate]

A recent discussion within the family asked whether it was correct to use the singular or plural form of an object that belonged to "them" when them was used to mean a group of people. The ...
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0 votes
1 answer
70 views

'A pair of shoes is/are odd.' Is there a name for this double meaning regarding singularity/plurality?

If I say : I have a pair of shoes that is odd, the meaning would be that there was something odd about the pair. Perhaps the shoes are bright green with pink spots. But if I say : I have a pair of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Plural when referring to an attribute shared by members of a group

Assume that you own a collection of chairs. Each chair is made by a different maker and bears the mark of its maker. Moreover, each chair has only one maker and thus only one mark. Now consider the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
51 views

Correct grammatical number of items belonging to a group, e.g.. ‘Every person has a nose.’ [duplicate]

In the sentence ‘Every person has a nose.’ there are many persons, but the plural of nose is not used. I’m really curious that ‘a nose’ itself refers to all noses or itself just refers to a nose? ...
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0 votes
0 answers
105 views

"Neither my mother nor I was" vs "Neither my mother nor I were" [duplicate]

Can anyone clarify which of the following is correct? "Neither my mother nor I was conscious of rudeness" "Neither my mother nor I were conscious of rudeness" I thought it was ...
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0 votes
0 answers
38 views

"is" or "are" after "one Z of "

When writing "One application of X is/are Y" and X is singular and Y is plural, is it is or are then? And why? (Phrasing it the other way round would be easy: Y are one application of X) ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Two words connected by AND: Singular or plural?

If I write the following sentence: "Any hypothesis generation and knowledge extraction require efficient, fast responding graphical solutions." Is it "require" or "requires&...
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