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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64 views

Singular / plural form of the noun ‘type’ (meaning printed letters or typeface) – what are the rules?

When is the noun type (meaning typeface or text set in type) used in singular form and when is it used in plural form? Is it referred to as a singulare tantum? In which case is it an uncountable noun ...
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1answer
2k views

Why isn't "giraves" the plural of "giraffe" like "wolves" is for "wolf"? [duplicate]

The plural of giraffe, according to Merriam Webster and some other dictionaries I checked, is "giraffes". Normally when the final sound of an English word is F, its plural ends in V sound. ...
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20 views

Plural subject but singular object

I've seen a few helpful posts on this, and understand that there is no rule necessarily, but I'm trying to wrap my head around something like the following example: "For the purposes of Chapter 3,...
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165 views

Use of singular or plural form for decimal money units

According to these following articles: The Chicago Manual of Style Online:Numbers: Q. When referring to decimals from zero to one, are they singular or plural? Stack Exchage (English Language & ...
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5answers
939 views

Pluralization of [ the apple of one's eye]

Some idioms are not syntactically flexible, so I was wondering if "the apple of one’s eye" falls into that category. I mean would it be correct to pluralize the words "apple" and &...
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1answer
40 views

Single opening with multiple doors: "trapdoor" or "trapdoors"

Is it "a trapdoor" or "trapdoors" for one opening with two or more doors covering it? One example is the one(s) covering Black Horse Inn's cellar. Clearly it is plural when there ...
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1answer
113 views

"[Singular noun], and in particular [plural noun], is/are"

I have a sentence following the template above, and I am not sure what is the right verbal form to follow. A specific example could be: Academia, and in particular professors, [is/are] more concerned ...
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2answers
195 views

Can the word "fruit" be used as an invariant plural as in "the fruit are" and "two fruit"? [duplicate]

Background: Over here on this forum for English speakers learning Chinese, there is debate on which ones among the following are correct English: the fruit is the fruits are the fruit are *? Other ...
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61 views

Why does English only have one form of we/us?

I have tried googling this and looking here to no avail. Why does English only have one we? What I mean is, why aren't there two forms for: Me and someone else excluding you Me and someone else ...
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32 views

How do you list items that are both singular and plural [duplicate]

For example, would you say: "There were carrots and gravy in the fridge." You wouldn't say, "There were gravy." So does this make sense? Another example: "There are radio ...
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1answer
27 views

item instances or items instances?

I'm making a game that has items inside it and each items has its own instances. Then I have a DB table that contains those instances. What should I name it to properly indicate my case? ItemInstances ...
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2answers
66 views

Whether to use "it" or "they" when we talk about using X and Y?

Using X and Y is generally good practice, but there are also cases where it makes things worse or at least gives nothing. Using X and Y is generally good practice, but there are also cases where they ...
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2answers
42 views

"It is two teachers' birthday today" or "It is two teachers' birthdays today"?

Apparently I've been involved in a debate in the Duolingo forums for about a year on whether when two possessors in a possessive construction possess the same shared/common object, whether the object ...
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13 views

Combining singular and plural [duplicate]

I wanted to see if anyone can confirm the following sentence reads correct, with proper agreement: "Now remember, your sales and marketing teams are the life force that keeps business flowing to ...
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25 views

Is it "a sombre look" or "sombre looks" when there are many people having (a) sombre facial expression(s)? [duplicate]

I am looking at a situation where many people are wearing the look and I don't know for sure which one to use between these two: They had all gathered in the ante-room, wearing a sombre look. They ...
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2answers
221 views

value: singular vs plural [duplicate]

"Wall Street banks had made billions of dollars on complex investments backed by mortgages whose value now plunged." In this sentence, why was the word "value" used as a singular ...
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38 views

doctors appointments or doctor's appointments or doctors' appointments [duplicate]

"Doctor's appointment" or "doctors appointment"? Not sure this was properly addressed before but question was where to put the "'" on the s. In the question it was ...
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1answer
119 views

Singular and plural nouns in one sentence

"They qualify for government-supported medical treatment and disability payments." In the sentence above, why is the word "treatment" used as a singular noun, and "payments&...
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1answer
345 views

"X and Y is" or "X and Y are"? [closed]

Is the following sentence grammatical? Secondly, doing research and inventing new things are only possible if someone has understood the concepts in that particular topic or area. I'm concerned ...
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1answer
84 views

Would I say, "All he needs is his blanket, hammock, and pillow." or "All he needs are his blanket, hammock, and pillow."? [closed]

The difference is after the word 'needs'. is it 'is'? or is it 'are'? Thanks to anyone who can answer this.
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10answers
6k views

Plural of "I am nobody important" i.e. "we are <nobody/nobodies> important"

A few days ago some stranger contacted me and I asked who he was. He replied and said: Nobody important. Now, it is clearly for a singular subject. One person can say that. But I am now wondering ...
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3answers
719 views

Can one say "with application to" instead of "with applications to" if only one application is intended?

I am writing a scientific article in which I am presenting a certain scientific approach. In this article, I highlight a (i.e. one) specific application of this approach. In my title, I'd thus like to ...
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1answer
29 views

Should I use plural noun after ''both'' in the sentence below?

Set the Max depth parameter of both the Reflection and Refraction roll-out to 10. I am not sure whether roll-out should be plural or not in this particular case.
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1answer
82 views

Difference in meaning between people and persons?

I've seen there are already multiple questions on the difference between persons and people as plural for person. The answers usually seem to suggest that there's a difference in usage (legal/formal ...
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1answer
27 views

Skills that are a must-have requirement

Sentence reads "computer programming skills is a must, particularly with Language A and Language B" I'm fairly certain this should say the programming skills ARE a must, on account of skills ...
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4answers
88 views

Free hand: uncountable

Free hand [countable; singular] ​ Unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the director a free hand to cut the budget wherever she wanted​ https://www.wordreference.com/definition/free%20hand ...
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1answer
130 views

Why can "a set of [plural noun]" be written as "a [singular noun] set" but not "a [plural noun] set"?

"A set of tools" can alternatively be written as "a tool set" (or toolset), but "a tools set" sounds very unnatural. The same can be said of a number of other examples: &...
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3answers
167 views

They won hundreds of dollars; five hundreds to be precise!

‘They won hundreds of dollars; five hundreds to be precise!’ "The Name of the Number", by Michael A. B. Deakin , page 48. In mathematics we talk about the place of the units, of the tens, ...
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176 views

Pride and joy as a plural

I just came across some text in a book which stated, “it was one of his prides and joys“. That sounds wrong to me. It seems as if it should be pride and joys, since that phrase is considered a ...
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27 views

How are “the origin of human” and “the origins of human” used differently?

Statistically, I have searched on Linggle, on which "the origin of human" appeared 5900 times, and "the origins of human" 5500 times. It seems both are used. What I can come up is ...
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0answers
76 views

"Series" – a noun of multitude similar to "lot", "majority", "percentage", "proportion"– verb agreement

According to Garner's fourth edition Though serving as a plural when the need arises, series is ordinarily a singular noun. But it is also a noun of multitude, so that phrases such as a series of ...
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1answer
81 views

Plural or singular with respectively

Apple of sort X and apple of sort Y are in basket 1 and 2, respectively. Apples of sort X and of sort Y are in basket 1 and 2, respectively. Apple of sort X and apple of sort Y are in baskets 1 and ...
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30 views

"Between each" and Other Constructions with Fewer than Two Objects

Page 112 of Garner's fourth edition reads ✳Between each and Other Constructions with Fewer than Two Objects This phrasing is a peculiar brand of illogic, ✳between each house/speech,instead of, ...
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1answer
30 views

Help deciding if plural should be used in this sentence

Can anyone help me with which of the following is the correct formulation? The main driver for this is changes in the weather. The main driver for this are changes in the weather. Should it be "...
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1answer
107 views

"For educational purpose" or "for educational purposes"?

When I was writing this: The university is for educational purpose. everything was fine. But when I wrote this: The universities are for educational purpose. The Grammarly said it's a mistake and &...
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1answer
58 views

Long, hot soaks in winter are a classic mistake [closed]

Why 'a' is placed after 'are' ? Why 'a' 'is used for the plural 'soaks' ? Why it's 'a classic mistake' not 'classic mistakes' ?
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1answer
722 views

Do we say zero point or zero points? [duplicate]

I know we say one point or two points, how about zero? Do you say zero point or zero points? Or both are ok depending on the context?
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1answer
199 views

Should I use "in most case", "in most cases", "in the most case", or "in the most cases"? [closed]

The differences are the particle and the number.
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0answers
33 views

HQs : plural of the abbreviation of "headquarters" [duplicate]

According to the CambridgeGEL, headquarters has the same singular and plural form, but HQs is the plural of the abbreviation of "headquarters". Aren't both statements contradictory? ...
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1answer
24 views

"it is suitable for employees who don't want responsibilities" [closed]

"responsibilities" is marked wrong. In general, I am having problem determing when to use plural and when to use singular form of a word. Any help is greatly apprciated.
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171 views

Capitalisation of plural proper nouns

Atlantic and Pacific Oceans or Atlantic and Pacific oceans? Jackson and Smith Streets or Jackson and Smith streets? Would "ocean" and "street" in these instances take capital ...
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0answers
49 views

Is it correct to say we have five sense organs?

There is a difference in type of something and actual number of that thing as per my understanding. Saying, we have five senses or five kinds of sense organs is okay, but when I say we have five ...
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1answer
146 views

usage of article/singular/plural noun when listing two things

I was reading this book, and I came across the following sentences whose usage of articles and singular/plural nouns I couldn't understand. A Days Inn in West Palm Beach had to pay $70,000 in ...
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2answers
170 views

Singular vs. plural for a noun that is associated to a plural number of another noun

Our team has prepared five technical reports that we are going to present to a review committee tomorrow. Each report is very long (about 20 pages). I want to communicate to my colleagues that we ...
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2answers
71 views

I am unsure of whether to use singular or plural describing a list where the objects in the list are choices

Which is correct: Three different strategies whereby X and Y are produced in a ratio of 1:2, 1:1, or 2:1. or Three different strategies whereby X and Y are produced in ratios of 1:2, 1:1, or 2:1.
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2answers
67 views

Six foot tall, a herd of elephant: special use of the singular in certain syntactic contexts

CambridgeGEL, page 1588 reads Examples like She’s six foot tall involve a special use of the singular form rather than a base plural: the difference between this and How many feet are there in a mile?...
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37 views

Plural affix in the Oxford English Dictionary

I cannot find an entry for the plural affix in the OED (-es, -s , 's, s), unlike say for -en. Also for -ed we have : -ed, suffix1, -ed, suffix2, -d, -t, suffix1, -t, suffix2, etc. What are the ...
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2answers
62 views

"Advanced English Studies "

I typed in study instead of studies and is marked wrong. Is there a reason to use the plural form?
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0answers
42 views

It is strictly forbidden to play with smartphone?

Is it correct to say "It is strictly forbidden to play with smartphone"? Should I add a the in front even though I am not talking about any definite phone at the moment. Or should I add s at ...
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468 views

What's the correct British English plural form of TV? Is it TVs or TV's? Thank you!

e.g. I have two TVs VS I have two TV's. Which one is the correct form in British English?

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