Number agreement of a noun with several adjectives

If there are several adjectives referring to different instances of the same noun, should the noun be plural?

For example, which of the following is correct?

  1. The first, second, fifth and eighth runner
  2. The first, second, fifth and eighth runners

Answer

It is usually runners, since you are referring to four separate runners, and the verb (are) is plural:

The first, second, fifth, and eighth runners are wearing blue.

One way runner could properly be singular is if you put it after every adjective:

The first runner, second runner, fifth runner, and eighth runner are all wearing blue.

As English sanctions elimination of repeated (and redundant) words, the following is also grammatically correct:

The first, second, fifth, and eighth runner are all wearing blue.

However, this is much less common, since most people instinctively do not prefer to put a singular noun (runner) directly before a plural verb (are).

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : o4tlulz , Answer Author : Daniel

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