In Grammar By Svetlana

Use nouns only in the plural, and only in the singular

The number of nouns — a grammatical category that expresses the number of objects, phenomena, objects, and so on. D. As in the Russian language, English has singular and plural. Typically, most are in the form of nouns and singular and plural forms (for example: box — boxes, flower — flowers, rainbow — rainbows). Plurals rules are quite simple, and they are described in detail in the article «plural nouns in English.»

But there are special cases where the noun has only the singular or plural only (scissors — scissors, always plural; news — the news is always singular). With these nouns we will introduce in this article.

  1. We use plural nouns that come in pairs:

    Trousers — pants (two feet, we always speak in the plural), and jeans — jeans, tights — tights, shorts — shorts, pants — pants.

    Pajamas — Pajamas (top and bottom).

    Glasses — Sunglasses (2 lens) and binoculars — binoculars.

    • These nouns are always plural, respectively, they require a predicate in the plural:

      My jeans do not suit me at all — my jeans do not fit me at all. (not my jeans does not)

    • If you want to say in the singular about these things, it is necessary to use a pair of + these words:

      Those are fabulous trousers and that is a fabulous pair of trousers. (but not a fabulous trousers)

      I want some new glasses, or I want a new pair of glasses.

  2. There are nouns that end in -ics, and most often it is not the plural. For example: economics, electronics, maths, politics, physics.

    Politics was his favorite subject in his school that is why he became a politician. (but not Politics were)

    • The word news — the news also is plural, even though, as we translate it, it is always singular:

      What is the last news you read in that newspaper? (But not What are the last news)

    • Some words that end in -s, there may be only one, and plural, as paradoxical as it may sound:

      a means of communication
      (means of communication)
      many means of communication
      (a lot of means of communication)
      Series (Series) a TV series
      (TV series)
      four TV series
      (4 TV series)
      (type, grade)
      a species of animal
      (animal species)
      100 species of animals
      (100 species)
  3. Sometimes it happens that some of the nouns used in the singular form of the verb with the plural. For example: audience — the audience, committee — the committee, company — the company, family — family, firm — firm, government — government, staff — team, team — team. This so-called collective nouns and collective nouns. Have you noticed that all these words are called one thing, but generally consist of a group of people (family, group, team — all of these phenomena can not be one person). And we often think about these phenomena as a group of people (they — them), so we and the verb is used in the plural form:

    The government (they) do not want to decrease taxes. — The state does not want to reduce taxes.

    • Sometimes we use the plural when the names of companies and sports teams:

      Russia are playing Brazil next Monday. (in a football match) — Russia is playing against Brazil next Monday. (meaning a football match)

    • But it is also possible with these words and the use of the verb to the singular, it all depends on what meaning you put in an offer. If all members of the group, the family, the state act in unison, equally, do one thing all together, then, as a rule, we are talking about them in the singular:

      The government wants to stop the war. — The government wants to stop the war.

    • We use the verb in the plural with the word police — the police:

      The police have been investigating this crime for more than 6 months! — Police are investigating a crime for more than 6 months! (but has been)

    • But we can also speak of the singular, to use words such as a police officer a policeman a policewoman.
  4. Also, we do not normally use the word person — a man — in the plural (persons). Most often say people — people.

    She is a great person. — She’s a great person.

    They are great people — They’re great people. (but not persons)

    Many people do not know where to work. (but not Many people does not know)

  5. We think about the amount of money (a sum of money), the period of time (a period of time), the distance (a distance) as one thing, so we use a form of the verb in the singular:

    Ten million dollars was stolen from the bank. (not were stolen)

    Five years is a very long time, anything can happen at this period of time. (not five years are)

It is difficult, of course, is right to remember all the rules, but with a constant repetition of these rules, you soon will not even notice how and where to put the singular or plural.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>