Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Singular vs. Plural

Cacti or Cactuses: What’s the Plural of Cactus?

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 6:00 am

Suppose you are writing a science-fiction novel in which spiky plants come to life in the desert. They uproot themselves and begin pursuing your hero. As they bear down, how would you refer to them: as cacti, cactuses, or something else? In other words, what's the plural of cactus? The Plural of Cactus The origin …

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The Plural of Octopus: Are We Using Proper English?

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 6:00 am

An octopus is a marine cephalopod mollusk that has a soft body and eight arms. What word should we use if we are referring to more than one of these invertebrate animals? Two Ways to Spell the Plural of Octopus Unlike many words in the English language, the word octopus has more than one spelling …

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What Is the Plural of Diagnosis?

Posted on Monday, February 7, 2022, at 6:00 am

Could you give the correct word for the plural of diagnosis? This question can sometimes trip writers, speakers, and even editors. In today's review we'll give you the answer, as well as touch on the reason these types of words can be tricky to form and remember. We'll also share a few tips to help …

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Is Data Singular or Plural?

Posted on Friday, November 12, 2021, at 6:00 am

Many of us may have at some point wondered whether we should use data as a singular or plural word. The right answer can be evasive. How to treat data can influence our writing and sentence structure in different ways. Let's review this word more closely to reach a conclusion we can work with. Is …

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Crisis or Crises: What’s the Difference, and Which One Do You Need?

Posted on Friday, November 5, 2021, at 6:00 am

Both crisis and crises are correct and acceptable words to use in American English, but they also differ slightly in meaning. Today we’ll explain the difference and ensure you know which one to use in the right context. Crises Is the Plural of Crisis The word crisis is defined as “a tragedy or negative event.” …

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Is Dice Plural or Singular?

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021, at 6:00 am

Which word do you use if you’re playing a game with more than one small, numbered cube that you have to roll? Today we’ll look at the word dice, along with some related thoughts. The Plural of Dice: Are We Using Correct English? To begin with, asking “What is the plural of dice?” is a …

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None Is vs. None Are: Which Do You Use?

Posted on Monday, June 28, 2021, at 6:00 am

Even among those who pay attention to grammar, the none is versus none are debate can be a spirited one. Do you know which one is correct? We don't want you to get it wrong or to follow misguided advice. That's why we are going to clear things up in today's post. As a starting …

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Plural and Possessive Forms with Names Ending in y or i

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 7:00 am

How do you form the plural of a proper noun that ends in y such as Murphy? Should you change the name to Murphies? Given how other English words ending in y form their plurals, you would think so. Examples: puppy / puppies army / armies supply / supplies However, proper nouns are not pluralized …

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2019’s Word of the Year is Inclusive, Not Divisive

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Have you heard that Merriam-Webster chose the word they as the "Word of the Year"? And that it was chosen as the "Word of the Decade" by the American Dialect Society? We are not surprised. You probably recall that we ran three articles in July-August 2019 discussing the singular they (How Did They Get in …

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Year-End Quiz 2019

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 11:00 pm

What fun it has been completing another twelve-month trip in our always-running grammatical journey. The year 2019 led us through both familiar and exotic terrain as we considered more of the many parts driving our language. In particular we are grateful for the continuing desire to learn among you, our faithful readers. Your interest and …

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