Is there any difference between “tuxedo” and “avocado” with regard to their plural form?

An English exam is slowly coming closer and closer, so I’m trying to revise… I’m holding an English learning book right now, and the very first chapter is dedicated to regular and irregular plural forms of nouns. One exercise wants me to cross out words that are not fitting; for example, from “cows“, “tables“, “bags“, … Read more

Why do distributive adjectives mostly take a singular noun while quantitative adjectives mostly take a plural noun?

I am sure that there are some exceptions to this, but I have noticed that distributive adjectives like “each”, “every”, “either”, “neither”, etc., mostly take a singular noun, while quantitative adjectives like “some”, “many”, “all”, “few” etc., in most cases take a plural noun. Both of these set of words refer to the number of … Read more

Is “workload” ever a countable noun? Can it also be uncountable?

Here are two sentences which have almost the same meaning that I have found in two different dictionaries: Teachers are always complaining about their heavy workloads. (Cambridge Dictionary) Students complained about the heavy workload. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) Both citations show a plural subject, but the grammatical number of what those subjects are complaining about is inconsistent. … Read more

“That” vs “those” with multiple singular nouns

I just received an email citing my contact info and asking me to confirm it. I replied with “Those address and phone number are correct.” The Gmail grammar checker underlined “address” and “number”. Should I have used “That” instead of “Those”? That didn’t seem better to me. Two singular things make a plural, right? Answer … Read more

Quantity for abbreviations of plural terms

I have two questions which I think are so closely related that they should be grouped together. Quantity for an abbreviation that stands for a plural Context: The author is trying to explain what open market operations (OMO). The term “open market operation” is meaningless in the context, it is always a group of operations. … Read more

Origin of plurals and possessives

What is the origin of English plurals and possessives? English plurals look more French plurals, but I am not sure that is where they come from. As for possessives, I don’t know where they come from. Answer The short answer is that they fell together when most of the other inflections were lost. For the … Read more

“This date and time is” vs. “this date and time are”

The following sentence appears in a letter I am editing: If this date and time are not convenient please contact me at … Structurally, this seems okay, but it feels very awkward. Shouldn’t it read: If this date and time is not convenient please contact me at … Answer In this particular context, is would … Read more