Questions tagged [pluralia-tantum]

Questions about nouns that have only plural forms such as 𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒, 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑠, 𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑜𝑟𝑠, or 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑠 just to name a few. These can lead to periphrastic singulars such as a single head of cattle, or a pair of pants or scissors, or a set of genitals. 𝑃𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑚 is the plural Latin term for several such terms; a 𝑝𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑚 is just one of them.

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Is the phrase "source code" intrinsically plural? [closed]

If we're talking about the phrase "source code", isn't that naturally and implicitly plural? Consider the following sentence: All of the source code for this project is in a public GitHub ...
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-1 votes
5 answers
199 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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  • 150
2 votes
1 answer
72 views

Are there English toponyms that are pluralia tantum? [closed]

There are toponyms that are pluralia tantum in a few languages. What come off top of my mind are Mediterranean cities in classical languages, such as Athenae and Pompeii. A modern example I can come ...
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  • 375
0 votes
1 answer
141 views

"People" was not to be preceded by a number, as in "Fewer than 30 people showed up"

From WordReference I discovered the following usage note At one time, some usage guides maintained that people could not be preceded by a number, as in Fewer than 30 people showed up. WordReference ...
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  • 2,187
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Do you find "only belongings of somebody" a little bit wierd?

In the sentence below, do you think it is weird to say "only belongings" for "belongings" is a collective noun. The angry mob destroyed the man's only belongings.
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2 votes
0 answers
4k views

When to use "profit" vs. "profits"?

I have noticed that some authors refer to the amount of money that a firm makes (net of costs) as "the firm's profit," while other authors refer to it as "the firm's profits." For example, consider ...
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0 votes
1 answer
139 views

Some compliment nouns are always plural, but other have singular forms - why?

Some compliment nouns like congratulations, best wishes, thanks, or cheers are always plural in form, but I have seen singular forms like "congratulate them" or "thank them". In ...
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1 vote
5 answers
244 views

Strange plural pairs [closed]

I don't speak German but was fascinated to learn that in (Swiss or I believe Bavarian) German Rahm means cream, but Rahmen means frame - despite adding "-en" being the normal way to make a singular ...
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2 votes
1 answer
516 views

How do you pluralize Levi's?

Okay, so jeans and pants are referred to as plural. When we refer to a brand of jeans, we pluralize the brand by saying and writing things like: "I got Girbauds for my birthday." (a pair of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
7k views

Glasses - countable or uncountable noun?

Is word glasses countable or uncountable? Are these sentences correct? These glasses (referring to one pair of glasses) are my favourite! I have quite a few glasses in my drawer, however, my favourite ...
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2 votes
2 answers
207 views

Using a designer's name or brand name as a substitute for the product itself

Example: A character owns a pair of Sophia Loren sunglasses. Before going out for the afternoon, "She drew on her Sophia Loren’s, flipped her long mane back, and tossed him a cheeky grin." If I'm not ...
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0 votes
2 answers
266 views

"I have a few pants bought from Mark and Spencer that need to be altered." [closed]

"I have a few trousers bought from Mark and Spencer that need to be altered." In this context "need" or "needs to be altered"?
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12 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why is "bangs", meaning fringe, used in the plural?

Bangs is the AmE for fringe when we are referring to hair. Bangs are hair that is cut so that it hangs over your forehead. My bangs were cut short, but the rest of my hair was long. ( Collins ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Does English have any singularia tantum besides mass nouns?

Singularia tantum and pluralia tantum are, respectively, nouns that have only a singular form and nouns that have only a plural form. In English, we have a handful of pluralia tantum that are mass ...
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5 votes
4 answers
5k views

Are there nouns that are always plural — have no plural counterpart?

Are there words that have no plural counterpart, because they are, in fact plural? Words like rice or scissors come to mind.
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