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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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What is the correct way to write a plural of several singular numbered items? [duplicate]

Box 1 + Box 2 = "Box Nos. 1 and 2" or "Boxes Nos. 1 and 2"
jane's user avatar
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-1 votes
0 answers
16 views

Properly indicating number agreement for the word company [duplicate]

Alright, so let's say that I'm selling tickets, I could either sell 1 (singular) ticket or multiple (plural) tickets, and if I wanted to write the number of tickets each person purchased in a uniform ...
Tfinnm's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
48 views

Using "content" vs. "contents" when referring to multiple written works

I am aware of the previous discussions on "content" vs. "contents". According to the top answer there, it looks like they can be used interchangeably when referring to a written ...
Superbee's user avatar
  • 103
6 votes
1 answer
525 views

Can we use 3rd person singular for "Come Find"?

I have the following question which Copilot, Gemini, and ChatGPT couldn't answer properly. I understand that in American English, people drop and in "Come and Find," and say "Come find.&...
mac's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
24 views

participants or the participants [closed]

I'm relatively new to academia and I've noticed scientists write "participants" instead of "the participants" in the context of, for example, "participants did this" in ...
Andy Junghyun Kim's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Does the adjective "numerous" require plural subjects? Are there any other words with this property?

As a (nonnative) long-time English learner, I found that descriptive grammars often point out that verbs like surround, gather, disband, etc. require plural subjects: (1a) The girl surrounded the ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 493
1 vote
3 answers
92 views

"change directory" or "change directories"?

I'm updating some software documentation and referring to the cd command in a shell/commandline. I'm starting with the assumption that all of the following are correct (but please do validate this ...
NotTheDr01ds's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Singular or plural: "30 subjects put(s) us"

Is singular or plural correct in this case? We believe that 30 subjects put us comfortably above the field’s average for similar studies. We believe that 30 subjects puts us comfortably above the ...
MrASquare's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Information can't take an s

I suggested an edit which was rejected by 2 reviewers. I don't know why it was rejected but it could be because I removed 's' to 'informations'. https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/...
Sybuser's user avatar
  • 247
2 votes
3 answers
102 views

pronoun (etc) used to refer back to (overtly) a string of verbs

I am drafting the dedication below, which includes a list of adjectives: Never stop building, searching, and asking why. It will take you to amazing places. I'm questioning whether "It" is ...
ICEB's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
2 answers
56 views

plural forms of adjective nouns [duplicate]

Why do we say "apple trees" but "liberal arts colleges"? I have seen discussion like Nouns of plural form preceding another noun but I don't get a very definitive answer. It seems ...
Taylor Fang's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
16 views

Debt collection software or debt collections software? [duplicate]

I've found several discussions about the general use of "collection" vs "collections" but not in the context of debt collection, specifically. I'm currently editing a series of ...
spacegarlic's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
78 views

In genealogy, what is the plural of proof?

In genealogy, a birth certificate, a marriage license, and a census record are each examples of a proof. If I am going to say, "Send your application with all genealogical proofs..." is that ...
shirley stirling's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

Can "more [something]s" be singular if the focus is on the quantity and not the things?

If I say "A greater amount of cookies is better," the subject "A greater amount" is clearly singular. One of the definitions of "more" is "a greater amount of," ...
Douglas's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
459 views

Use of singular in the title “The Three-Body Problem” [duplicate]

The title of the Chinese book 三体, written by Liu Cixin, was translated as The Three-Body Problem. This is also the name of a famous physics problem. My question is: why do we say the three-body and ...
guillaume8375's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

18-byte block and 2-rounds structure: when to use plural? [duplicate]

I just wrote in the crypto stackexchange group something like: This is a cipher with 18-byte block and 2-rounds structure. This seems inconsistent to my own eyes/ears of non-native English speaker. ...
fgrieu's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
70 views

Plural of expertise when comparing two people [closed]

When referring to two people with different areas of expertise, should "expertise" be made plural? The only reference I found (https://preply.com/en/question/plural-of-expertise) lacks ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 147
-1 votes
1 answer
62 views

"Rolls axes" or "Rolls' axes" [closed]

Near the onset of convection in a plane layer of fluid, the flow takes the form of counter-rotating rolls. The rolls are identical, and their axes are parallel. Grammatically, which of the following ...
Vlad's user avatar
  • 9
-2 votes
1 answer
46 views

Is or are in this context [duplicate]

'The next thing i wanna talk about is/are the modifications to the...' You say you want to talk about a thing and it's singular so it could be is, but it could be are because the actual thing you're ...
mean mean's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

The couple when talking about wife and husband. Singular or plural? [duplicate]

I saw this phrase here The couple are survived by three children: Femke, Marcus, and Rutger. Is this the correct form?
joan's user avatar
  • 209
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

How to hyphenate plural words [duplicate]

My text is fully justified with auto hyphenation turned on. However, the auto hyphenation is showing a number of plural words as being hyphenated with "es" on the next line. For example, &...
Mimi Yahn's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
29 views

Correct use of the verb in terms of pronoun and number

I'm an English student yet, and today I had this sentence and this question. In the sentence: "I am a person that does not like routine but rather tries to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.&...
MariaD's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

What is the literary device used when a pluralised form of a name conveys a representative person? e.g "who will be there?" "Your Toms, Your Harrys"

I've noticed a particular grammatical structure being used more and more often, where people pluralise the names of a small group of people in a list, to suggest that those people mentioned are ...
Alex L's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
3 answers
601 views

Should I use the plural in "the dependence(s) of a and b on x"?

If I plot two different parameters a and b which are both dependent on the same variable x, which of these is correct? The plot shows the dependence of a and b on x. or The plot shows the ...
mathematica_guy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

If the sentence "What are the contents of that box" is correct how, then, is the sentence "What is the demographics of that area" also correct?

What are the contents of that box? ... correct What is the demographics of that area? ... incorrect The demographics for that area are ___. ... correct Why do I keep reading sentences in the ...
Kristi Paris's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
160 views

Fishes and Deers

I saw a video clip with the concept of a plural of plurals. Here is an example: In the ocean there are many fish. I saw 3 different kinds of fishes. First, is this correct usage? If so, could I ...
Vaccano's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Is a noun singular or plural when listing two or more of them that are numbered? [duplicate]

I was asked by someone to review a selection of portrait photos and then respond by selecting which one(s) I wanted to have printed. Each photo is labelled "Pose," followed by a letter (i.e.,...
Juan's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

When using compound nouns, is the quantity of the first noun always ambiguous? [duplicate]

My understanding is that solution discussion is grammatically correct, whereas solutions discussion is not. However, when looking at solution discussion, I cannot say if it is a discussion about one ...
Pablo's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
3 answers
96 views

Use singular or plural when speaking about multiple total counts

I have a vector which contains one number for each occasion, and this number is the total number of animals captured for the first time on that occasion. (i.e., there is no grand total, but each ...
Tomas's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to talk about two different counts

In our scientific article, I have a sentence: The numbers of residents and transients are constant over time. I want to say that the number of resients is constant and the number of transients is ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 839
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

What's the rule for singular vs plural in "A number of parameters is/are"? [duplicate]

I read this sentence earlier, and it struck me as incorrect: A number of parameters is associated with an open connection. My first thought was the is should be an are, but talked myself out of that ...
Seamus's user avatar
  • 195
0 votes
0 answers
31 views

The crowd _____(was/were) dispersed by the police [duplicate]

Here, the people comprising the crowd are dispersing in different directions, right? So, the word 'crowd' is no longer a singular unit. Kindly, someone confirm the answer.
Ananya Priyadarshini's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
239 views

Events Calendar or Event Calendar [duplicate]

Which form is more correct? Events Calendar ex. Brooklyn Public Library The ex. NYC Parks Event Calendar ex. Botanic Garden ex. Barclays Center NGram
GogromaT's user avatar
  • 109
1 vote
2 answers
166 views

The use of 'law offices' to refer to a single office

In the United States, lawyers often name their businesses The Law Offices of So-and-so, in the plural, even when they are solo practitioners, working out of what would be regarded as just a single ...
jsw29's user avatar
  • 8,649
0 votes
2 answers
453 views

Why do we say “it’s (singular) days (plural) like these (plural)”? [duplicate]

Is it because what we’re saying is: it is days like this one, and all others like it, that collectively (followed by 3rd person plural verb form)?
Aychel's user avatar
  • 3
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Wear a glove on participants' right hand or hands? [duplicate]

I am writing a methods section of a research paper. "Participants wore the glove on their right hand." Here I'm confused whether I should say hand or hands, because 1) no one has two right ...
Andy Junghyun Kim's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

Human Asset Development or Human Assets Development

Human Assets Development or Human Asset Development The second one has no "s" at the end of asset. Which is more natural, and is there a rule for this (for example, use a singular noun (...
Steven's user avatar
  • 13
8 votes
9 answers
4k views

Not sure if "combined 90 men’s years experience" is right usage as opposed to "combined 90 man years worth of experience"

I received a copy from a client with the following phrase: "Our current team boasts of a combined 90 man years worth of experience in the field of XYZ". While on its own it sounds ...
Bhakti Birmole's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
236 views

What are "weed" (the annoying plant) and "weed" (the drug) classified as that makes them treated differently grammar-wise?

"Weed" (the annoying plant you don't want in your garden) and "weed" (the psychoactive drug) are treated differently grammatically. Just some example sentences "There are ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
1 answer
106 views

Subject-verb agreement in questions using neither-nor constructions [duplicate]

I'm aware that in sentences using neither-nor constructions, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it. E.g.: Neither the dog nor the cats have been fed. Neither the cats nor the dog has ...
Aziz Shavershian's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
87 views

What are the correct choices in: [A 𝒐𝒓 the] [variety 𝒐𝒓 number] of [something 𝒐𝒓 some things] [is 𝒐𝒓 are]?

My English grammar teacher said that English has following rules: A variety/number of something are... The variety/number of something is... We had the examples: A number of my colleagues are from ...
simple_asf's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Singular/plural nouns with units and 'how many'

Trying to work out whether to use 'is' or 'are' in the following sentences (aware they might differ): How many grams of flour is/are on the scale? How many centilitres of cough syrup are/is in the ...
CY_EngDev's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Data singular or plural in the context of particular input data? [duplicate]

We have a paper about a novel statistical model and we describe its input data. Should we write The input data also include a vector of numbers F ... or The input data also includes a vector of ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 839
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Singular or plural verbs for "There has/have been a large number of studies investigating…" [duplicate]

I am writing a thesis in English. After finishing, I used two grammar-checking software programs to pick up grammar errors. However, confusing results for a sentence were given by the two applications....
Dong Qu's user avatar
  • 21
11 votes
2 answers
61k views

"XXXX it is, then" with plural nouns?

Is it possible to use "... it is, then" with plural nouns? Example: "Apples or pears?" "Apples." "Apples it is, then."
gentledisplayofweakness's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
329 views

Copies of or a copy of? [closed]

Would you say, "I sent him copies of the motion and the letter," or would you say, "I sent him a copy of the motion and the letter"?
Paul's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Why does 'scent' here use the singular form?

Flowers are chosen for their scent as well as their look. In the above sentence, since these are countable nouns, shouldn't it say 'scents' and 'looks' instead of 'scent' and 'look'?
Steven Rogers's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
75 views

Comparing a plural noun with a singular noun: "They [do something] like a bat"

The narrator in this video has a very clear native English accent. What caught my attention is near the end of the clip when he said: They spend so much time in the tree and they sleep while hanging ...
Tran Khanh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
260 views

Which of these sentences is correct and why? "My favorite food is/are hamburger(s)" [duplicate]

My favorite food is hamburgers. My favorite food are hamburgers. My favorite food is hamburger. As a native speaker, I know instinctively that number 1 is correct but I'm finding it difficult to ...
Seán's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there anything wrong with the sentence "Donuts are not a part of healthy eating"?

The sentence in question is: Donuts are not a part of healthy eating. I'm debating between the following: Nothing wrong Donuts are not part of healthy eating (because "donuts" is plural, ...
rachelx's user avatar
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