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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37 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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1answer
49 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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2answers
54 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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1answer
44 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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38 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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34 views

plural or singular noun [migrated]

My sentence is: The article presents a comprehensive study of Polish literature of the Positivist and Young Poland period. Is this sentence correct? When listing two periods together, should I use '...
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34 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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0answers
31 views

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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42 views

Do "beaches" and "preaches" end with different phonemes?

Not being an English native speaker, I'm consulting an online tool that seemed to me most reliable in order to get the phonemic transcription of words, called "CMU Pronouncing Dictionary". ...
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2answers
50 views

In the case of multiple persons, would balance be plural?

For example, which of these two sentences is the correct one: ... the train started moving, making us all lose our balance. or ... the train started moving, making us all lose our balances
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59 views

Question about a plural

Recently I’ve encountered an exercise that my teacher marked as wrong, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t. I have to complete with various words some phrases. In this case the words are: instruction, ...
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18 views

How much is Plural? [duplicate]

What does plural mean? Is it 2 or greater? Is 1.5 plural? Is it "I ate 1.5 apple." or "I ate 1.5 apples."?
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77 views

Do I use "is" or "are" in these situations? [duplicate]

Suppose I want to describe "work" or types of work on a school.  Do I use "is" or "are" in these situations? The proposed renovation and rehabilitation of the school is ...
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19 views

Is there a conceptual influence on plurality according to definable/indefinable number? [duplicate]

I found that my instinct was to say 'All I can see is the cat's whiskers' but my instinct was also to say 'All I can see are the cat's eyes'. After some thought, either this is just a personal quirk ...
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26 views

Using "that" with plural [duplicate]

I used the following grammar construction recently, and got corrected by someone: How many cards are that? Is using "that" when referring to multiple cards (a stack of cards) valid grammar?...
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1answer
27 views

All the electronics, singular or plural? [closed]

I want to say that all the components of my robot are inside the robot, should I use is or are? All the electronics are hidden inside the robot, only the power cable is visible outside of it. In ...
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1answer
28 views

Number agreement question

I have always been wondering how I should determine the number of noun in this case: Compare the effect of the two policies. Or should I put as: Compare the effects of the two policies? Or is there ...
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1answer
99 views

Why do we have different words for countable/uncountable quantity in the decreasing direction but not the increasing direction?

Why do we differentiate between "fewer" for a countable quantity and "less" for an uncountable one but not between countable and uncountable quantities for "more"? Is ...
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1answer
49 views

All my Xs and Ys with Plural X & Singular Y

I am trying to make sentences start with "All", like the following: All my pots and pans were broken, by accident. But, what if I had only one pan ? Sounds ODD : All my pots and pan were ...
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1answer
82 views

'Miscellaneous': must be followed by a plural count noun

Garner's fourth reads Miscellaneous must be followed by a plural count noun; it does not work with an abstract mass noun. Exceptions are set phrases such as miscellaneous shower/income. and An ...
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4answers
3k views

Plural form of country names

Can all country names be pluralised in English? There are some countries which have a plural form, although such name is, for obvious reasons, not used - for example, Sicily - Sicilies (I know Sicily ...
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1answer
20 views

Especially in X "class" or "classes"?

I'm writing a document and am confused whether I should write "class" singular or "classes" plural. Grammar online checker seems to allow both. What is the reasoning behind? ...
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0answers
19 views

Is the phrase "refreshing lives" grammatically correct?

Someone shared a mail, where among the contents, he said - its been 14 years of refreshing lives. We are arguing whether the word refreshing is being used in the right context.
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5answers
149 views

Can ‘pants’, ‘glasses’, ‘scissors’, et similar in the sense of “a pair of [..]” take singular-number verbs? Why or why not?, Which ones / Which not?

‘pants’, ‘glasses’, ‘scissors’, {et similar}, in the sense of “a pair of [..]”: singular or plural? I always slow myself to use the singular, since the usage is referring to it as one singular unit. I....
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26 views

Singular "is" or plural "are" after a conditional plural expression? [duplicate]

From https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc5280#section-4.2.1.3: If the keyUsage extension is present, then the subject public key MUST NOT be used to verify signatures on certificates or CRLs ...
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2answers
63 views

With regards to a group, when do we relate to the group (singular) and when should we relate to the members of the group (plural)

Here is an example in the Cambridge English Dictionary. A string quartet was playing Mozart. Is this correct? or should it be "A string quartet were playing Mozart. Is a quartet an "it&...
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1answer
55 views

One of the at least one - followed by singular or plural noun? [closed]

Which of the following is correct:     (a) One of the at least one fruit; or     (b) One of the at least one fruits
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1answer
25 views

A and B + noun or nouns? [closed]

As the title, I am not sure of it. For example, Can you see the blue and red cup / the blue and red cups? Assuming there is one blue and one red cup. Thanks!
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1answer
49 views

"Numbers": mass noun

Garner reads Although enough modifies either count nouns or mass nouns, enough stamina, sufficient should modify only mass nouns, so the usage problem can be solved by making it sufficient numbers of....
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1answer
37 views

Multiple units of a singular shelf... If I refer to the group of units, should I use "shelfs" or "shelves" [closed]

I have multiple packages with a single shelf inside. If I refer to the multiple packages using some form or variation of "shelf" instead of "packages", should I use "shelfs&...
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2answers
2k views

Several people sharing the same title...is the title plural?

If you have a sentence that is referring to several people who share the same title, does the title become plural? We are pleased to announce the promotion of John, Bob, and Joe, to the position of ...
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1answer
52 views

Why does there seem to be a consensus with regards to subject complement agreement when the phrase in question starts with "We have"? [duplicate]

From reading about subject complement agreement, there seems to be some contention as to whether the complement should be plural or singular. For example, both “It is a time when teams take a look at ...
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2answers
218 views

during the week(s) vs on the weekend(s)

During the week, Nate Brakeley works as a data analyst. But on the weekends, he competes with Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional major league rugby franchise, now in its fourth ...
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2answers
84 views

Countable plural nouns & subject-verb agreement

A friend of mine claims that a sentence like: Foreign languages is what interests me. is the only correct option, whereas using the plural are would be wrong. I'm not convinced about this and I ...
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2answers
62 views

Is there a grammatical difference between "heart of oak" and "hearts of oak" in the British patriotic song "Heart of Oak?" [closed]

A British patriotic song titled "Heart of Oak" has two versions that are widely sung. The chorus in the first version goes like this: Heart of oak are our ships, Heart of oak are our men, We ...
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0answers
20 views

Should it be 'equals' or 'equal'? [duplicate]

I was reading something and found this line. I just want to know whether the word 'equal' should be 'equals' or 'equal'? Which sentence is grammatical? At the time of settlement the cash value plus ...
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2answers
116 views

World Oceans Day — why is it plural?

Today is the World Oceans Day. Why is ‘World Ocean’ in it plural? There is only one World Ocean. Or did they just omit the apostrophe before the -s?
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0answers
35 views

Subject-verb agreement question

Quick question. Does the sentence below seem grammatically correct? "Employees are a great resource for connecting you to the right product." My gut is telling me that even though "...
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1answer
38 views

'Frame' or "frames' of reference [duplicate]

I am stuck on whether to use 'frame' or 'frames' of reference. Example sentences: This study seeks to add value to the theologies of the Hebrew Scriptures in both its Hebrew and Greek frame/frames of ...
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5answers
202 views

'What is important is ...' vs 'What is important are ...'

Which number does be want to agree with? Is it with important or customer relations? What's most important is good customer relations. What's most important are good customer relations. Which one is ...
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6answers
4k views

What is the difference between “they” and “it” for people, especially for those people who identify as non-binary?

I’ve heard that they is used as a word to refer to people who are non-binary. Since English is not my first language, I’m not sure what the difference is between they and it in these usages. Of course,...
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1answer
100 views

"Tables sizes" - why is it wrong? [duplicate]

For example, "Tables sizes" as far as I know, is wrong. Correct is "Table sizes". But it may mean either "sizes of the one table" or "sizes of many tables". How ...
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1answer
19 views

Correct usage after result [closed]

I would like to know which of the following is grammatically correct: Another result of the crisis in 2001 were rising land and housing prices or Another result of the crisis in 2001 was rising ...
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2answers
225 views

Is "arts" (a subject in schools) a singular noun?

When used as subject, is the word arts considered a singular noun or a plural one? Art is my favorite class at school this term. Arts is? my favorite class at school this term. Why can’t we just say ...
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1answer
37 views

What's the proper pluralization of this linking verb? Did I violate the subject-verb agreement law? [duplicate]

This is the quote I'm having trouble with. Help me prioritize my tasks. By "tasks," what I really mean is programming languages. I'm particularly confused in the line where I say, "...
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27 views

Should a prepositional phrase beginning with “of” that follows a plural noun be singular or plural?

Which of these is correct? “Types of citrus fruit” or “types of citrus fruits”? I suspect it is the first example, but I would really like to know what the grammar rule governing these situations ...
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3answers
358 views

"Mitochondria IS the powerhouse of the cell" - is this grammatically correct?

In science as well as pop-culture, I've seen "Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" in the singular. However, "mitochondria" is the plural form of "mitochondrion", ...
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3answers
194 views

Singular vs. plural when the subject has multiple objects in it

This is a question about deciding singular vs. plural verb where the subject contains multiple objects in it. Let me set the context first. I have a mathematical problem where I need to find a ...
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0answers
32 views

Population(s) by State(s): Singular or Plural?

Suppose a table has many groups, each group of which has one certain number. Then, which of the following is grammatically correct as(?)/for(?) the table's title? Certain Number by Group (US Census ...
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0answers
36 views

how to determine whether I should go with singular or plural in the following sentence?

I was just wondering what to choose between singular and plural in the following usage: "Both functional and individual distributions/distribution of national income are/is addressed in the ...

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