Usually a plural noun taking plural verbs and pronouns. You can now learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these short, easytofollow videos on usage. Grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing is data singular or plural. Choose from 500 different sets of plural singular plural book series flashcards on quizlet. For example, some bacteria flourish in several types of media. Grammar girls 101 troublesome words youll master in. When a noun means more than one, it is said to be plural. Nouns ending with s, ss, z, zz, x, ch, sh, and tch are made plural by adding es to the singular form. The only case where its acceptable is with certain abbreviations and numbers.
Charles carson in a guest post for grammar girl describes count nouns and mass nouns. Its arbitrary, and especially in the case of apostrophes, chaotic. I will still get a bit cranky when i receive complaints from those with a lack of knowledge about this grammar point. If youre sticking with that history, it should be your data are now safe.
The data is compelling and the data are compelling are both correct. As we wrote in 2012, the word what can be construed as either singular or plural. Data is most often used as a singular mass noun in everyday usage. However, in more specific contexts, the plural form can also be grammars e. In much informal writing, data is considered a collective singular noun. Apr 05, 2008 when youth is used as a collective noun, you may follow it with either a singular or plural verb. Plural nouns take plural verbs, so data should be followed by a plural verb. Onethird of the population of subsaharan africa is undernourished. However, nowadays, it is treated as a singular noun. Does a collective noun take a singular or plural verb form.
The word media is not a collective noun, it is a plural noun. Data is a latin plural with a singular datum though datum is seldom used on its own any more. The noun can be singular, plural or an uncountable noun. In more general, commonly used, contexts, the plural form will also be grammar.
The reason some people believe the singular data to be incorrect is that data is a plural word in latin, its singular being datum, meaning a thing given. Mignon fogarty is the founder of quick and dirty tips and the author of seven books on language, including the new york times bestseller grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing. In technical or formal british english, data is sometimes a plural noun, but at other times, it is an uncount noun, as in the data highlights some interesting trends. The data received as responses to a survey, for example. As noted in the sixth edition of the publication manual p. When using a plural noun, these two articles are unnecessary. Singular simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In your case, it is plural and you should use option b. Plural nouns can take either a definite article or no article at all. While in english, the plural is formed byadding s to the singular. Be careful, some writers form plurals by adding apostrophe. Indefinite pronouns can take a singular or plural verb number follows the same ruling used with the indefinite pronouns all, any, more, most, and some.
Elsewhere, most english speakers treat it as a singular mass noun. Jul 20, 2015 use as either singular or plural in meaning but always with a singular verb. Grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing. The problem with this view is that data is an english word when english speakers use it, and were not required to continue following latin rules with words that have been in english for centuries. In formal scientific and scholarly writing, however, data is generally used as a plural, with datum as the singular form. Grammar girl quick and dirty tips says that data is accepted as both in standard usage. Although most noun plurals are formed this way, only verbs with a thirdperson singular noun or pronoun he, she, boat, courage as a subject ever have an added s on the end. Punctuation is not grammar and doesnt follow grammatical rules. In swahili,nouns are divided into 11 classes mainly following the syntax rules. The indefinite articles a and an are used to modify singular nouns.
Many of the mba entrances including cat test students on the questions 10 must know rules for subject verb agreement grammar read more. You should use the apostrophe only when theres no other way to form the plural, as in dot your is and cross your ts. When it comes to indefinite pronouns, grammarians disagree about whether words such as everyone and somebody are singular or plural when you use a pronoun to refer to them. We also have some nouns that remain the same in singular and. Guestwriter bonnie trenga writes, there are around 200 collective nouns in the english language 1. Data word the word data has generated considerable controversy on whether it is an uncountable noun used with verbs conjugated in the singular, or should be treated as the plural of the nowrarelyused datum. These daysto avoid the heshe problemwriters will use a singular antecedent and then refer to it with the plural pronouns they, their, or them. For a detailed explanation of how to show the plural of names ending in s, ch, or z, please see apostrophes with names ending in s, ch, or z. As grammar girl one of the articulate engineers favorite modernday resources explains, it comes down to whether you consider data to be a count noun or a mass noun. Writers using the singular take their cue from one, whereas the pluralusers are responding to those people or the things.
Headquarters is one such, and premises, surroundings and outskirts are others. Any followed by singular or plural countable nouns. Theres nothing wrong with saying informationen in german or informations in french, both being the plural form of information. This is what comes from looking in dictionaries and usage books for grammar information. The only difference is that the plural of woman doesnt end in an s. Aug 12, 2015 when we have received the data we can start to analyse them.
Count nouns can be singular or plural, and when you use them as the subject of a sentence, the verb must correctly reflect that number, as in the last apple is on the bottom shelf or the eggs are fresh. The truth is that none can be singular or plural, but many people. The simplest and most likely solution is to omit all apostrophes which dont convey any information, or questions like this wouldnt be asked and rely on syntax to distinguish the girls teams, and the boys teams, from the girls and boys team. The book i am using had a question where data as a plural count noun was used with no context clues as to which was being used. Noun phrases that cannot be counted are also singular in english e. Strictly speaking, data is the plural of datum and should be used with a plural verb like facts. I dont know about the british, but americans, all too often, cannot be bothered with correct grammar. However its most commonly used as a collective noun when referring to news media, and in that context using singular pronouns for it look ok. The noun reading can be countable or uncountable in more general, commonly used, contexts, the plural form will also be reading however, in more specific contexts, the plural form can also be readings e. Some major newspapers, such as the new york times, use it either in the singular or plural.
The concept of each singular noun contrasted with all plural nouns is not relevant here any can refer to one or to all, to several or to some part of. Mar 09, 20 well, it depends on whether youre a prescriptivist or a descriptivist. Grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing quick. Download it once and read it on your kindle device, pc, phones or tablets. These nouns present singular problems lets talk about nouns with split personalities. Phenomenon or phenomena grammar girl quick and dirty tips. A singular noun phrase usually refers to something that you would count as one only e. For example, linda asks, is everyone and, likewise, everybody singular or plural. With one or more is are, the first thing to consider is whether one or more is a unit or analysable. Headquarters is unusual in that it can be followed either by a singular or by a plural verb quarters alone can mean almost any place of residence, including the place where troops. Plurals of nouns are used to indicate when there is more than one person, place, animal, or thing. The associated press stylebook classifies data as a plural noun, normally taking plural verbs and pronouns. Sometimes they take a singular verb, but other times they take a plural verb.
Find out what grammar expert, grammar girl, has to say about it. However, there has been a growing tendency to use it as an equivalent to the uncountable noun information followed by a singular verb. When a noun means one only, it is said to be singular. The word data comes to english from latin, in which datum is the singular and data is the plural. This usage is practical for scientific or academic writing because it allows for the use of the singular datum. Some nouns have a fixed plural form and take a plural verb. Whether you are a grammar phobe seeking guidance, a parent looking for a tutorial that your kids will enjoy and therefore use or a writer seeking a fun reference manual for frustrating recurring questions, grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing will likely satisfy. Good information from thefreedictionary quoting american heritage dictionary as its source. Learn plural singular plural book series with free interactive flashcards. The singular form already expresses the same idea as informations in other languages. Every book in the course must be read before the end of the semester. Is the usage of the word data different in us english. Subject and verb agreement with collective nouns grammar. These are singular when they refer to something singular i.
Any english grammar today a reference to written and spoken english grammar and usage cambridge dictionary. If you want to emphasize that something is plural, rewrite to use a term such as facts or numbers. Also, if an antecedent is singular, then any pronoun referring to it must be singular. Subjects are a slippery topic to grasp, but understanding when a word is singular or plural is one of the most important grammar concepts. If the grammatical subject of a sentence is singular, then the verb must be singular.
Their form third person singular assumes that they are linked to a singular. If you want to read more about using data as a singular and plural noun and how to ensure that either way you also use the consistent modifiers eg. Rereading the jacket copy for the umpteenth time, i suddenly noticed that ides occurred in two different placesand was treated as plural in one and singular in the other. In the new york times the phrases the survey data are still being analyzed and the first year for which data is available have appeared within one day. The singular of data is and always has been datum, from the latin past participle. The latest, the throne of caesar in bookstores on the ides of march, incidentally, is a thriller centered on. The plural form of a verb other than the verb to be is the base infinitive form i write and they write, i am and we are. It can also refer in general to all the members of a class or a group. I was wondering if you could go over the usage of the word data, as in the data are correct or the da. The connection between data the plural and datum the singular has been almost completely broken, so that while datum survives in such compounds as datum point, it does not have the frequency of use that data has.
In a wellwritten column entitled is data singular or plural. In this video, scott thornbury talks about the word data. Our data suggest or our data suggests english biology. Videos on usage jane straus the blue book of grammar. Before photocopiers and computer printers, to make one or more copies of a document, carbon paper was placed between sheets of typewriter paper. Most people today treat it as a mass noun, and therefore use its singular form. Base your decision on whether your readers should consider the data as a single collection or as a group of individual facts. Be careful with the a team grammar and punctuation. Seminar leader, personal coach, and television talk show guest, jane straus has a gift for combining inspiration, entertainment, and education.
This happens when we are referring to all as a totality of items under consideration. Todays topic is collective nouns, nouns that describe a group, such as family, orchestra, and board. Mass nouns, on the other hand, are used for things that dont have a natural boundary and cant be counted. Today, she estimates that her podcasts have been downloaded some 70 million times by audiences in saudi arabia, russia, india, south korea, japan, and elsewhere. Singular and plural subjects and verbs must correspond, so get your kid started on this grammar lesson with a fun worksheet. Martins griffin volume, grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing.
In rhetorical question, referring back to your july 10, 2009 posting. I chose the plural verbs watch and spend because i felt that we were using youth in a plural manner here. Data is often treated as a plural noun in writing related to science, mathematics, finance, and computing. Data is the latin plural of datum, so why does it sometimes sound weird. In the past and still in the occasional scientific institution, data was treated as plural. So both the singular possessive and plural possessive of deer is deers. Im a bit confused about how the verbs declares and initializes are used here. In a technical book, i have stumbled upon the following sentence.
However, it is increasingly common to use data as a singular uncountable noun, as follows. The connection between data the plural and datum the singular has been almost completely broken, so that while datum survives in such compounds as datum. On the other hand, if provided with some context, who can address to a plural word as well. Sometimes the rules change over time, and sometimes the concepts just get a little hazy. For example, if were talking about a decade, its commonly accepted to write them as the 1980s or 1990s although its still generally recommended to write 1980s and.
She is an inductee in the podcasting hall of fame, and the show is a fivetime. Headquarters is plural noun, but depending on the context, or better say construct, it can be used with singular or plural verb as per the dictionary. She is an inductee in the podcasting hall of fame, and the show is a fivetime winner of best education podcast in the podcast awards. As you say, the speaker is not thinking of a particular problem, but of one or another, or perhaps more than one. In scientific contexts and in reference to mass communications, the plural of medium is media. It can modify either plural count nouns or singular mass nouns, which means that any singular noun modified by any is automatically interpreted as a mass noun. That is, always use the data is or another appropriate verb whether you mean a collection of facts plural or information singular. If the substitution of some for one or more is taken as binding, by analogy, we require plural concord. When it has the singular sense of one set, it takes a singular verb, even when series is followed by of and a plural noun. Jan 18, 2018 mignon fogarty is the founder of quick and dirty tips and the author of seven books on language, including the new york times bestseller grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing. You find more about the collective noun by reading the following excellent explanations. They are not used in the singular, or they have a different meaning in the singular. We use singular or plural depending on where we live. In swahili, to form the plural of nouns and adjectives depends on the noun class.
In american english, data can be a singular or a plural noun. Information is informations are is information plural. All is more often used with plural verb forms, though sometimes it is used with singular verbs. With plural nouns but also the singular pronouns i and you there is. They are noun phrases using two nouns in order to shorten text. Nouns that look like plurals, because they end in s, but whose meaning is collective or composite, are known as pluralia tantum. In a sentence starting with a singular principal subject wed choose singular verbs.922 782 1107 1478 156 1009 804 1263 325 709 1285 242 1520 1052 1104 1114 974 1412 1440 1223 1091 530 638 1420 831 962 955 118 1534 874 900 1478 1055 693 842 800 217 756 386 1197 597 984 28 603