Grammar Review on Confusing Words: Singular, Plural, or Both?
SINGULAR OR PLURAL?
Furniture, Stuff, Equipment
Think of furniture as a set of tables, chairs, couches, and cabinets. When one says “a house filled with expensive furniture,” it is understood that there are several items, not just one. To make the word plural is redundant. But because it is a single collection of things, it requires a singular verb after.
This furniture is hard to clean.
But if you want to
The furniture pieces are to die for.
The same rule applies to "stuff" and "equipment." Do away with the "s" because the words refer to a lot of things, but are always in singular form.
Information is knowledge, which in the academe is referred to as a “body” with “branches.” Most of the time, it is a lot of things rolled in one—stories, quotes, investigative details. If you want to say that information runs far and wide, use nouns with plural forms the way you would use collective nouns—with “of.” To single out something in that body of information, you may say:
This important piece of information is just what I need.
Bread can be broken apart and sandwiched together. Like the other words in this list, it is a whole that refuses a plural form. Are you talking about several pieces? Use “slices” or “loaves.” You may also use the container to suggest an assortment: a platter of bread.
Whether used to refer to a number of bags or the contents of a bag, “luggage” requires a singular verb. If you must be specific, use a word that has a plural form such as “items” or “pieces.”
Used by itself,
CORRECT PLURAL FORMS
If there’s more than one sheep, you still call it sheep. These irregular nouns, together with moose, deer, and folk are considered the same in both singular and plural forms, even without an "s" or "es." They have not been altered from their origin.
Deer is another example of an irregular noun and remains as "deer" in singular form, so no need to stress over adding that "s."
There are two popular definitions of
"Crisis" is rooted in the Greek
Likewise, "diagnosis" is a noun ending in –is and one of the special cases wherein the –is
Use “food” when referring to a general set. When dishes, meals, and pastries are mentioned in a series, use “other foods” to cover ones you don’t mention. The plural form is used when specific kinds of food are the topic.
THE RIGHT SINGULAR FORM
"Criteria" has always been the plural form of "criterion" and you’d be deviating from that old Latin form if you ever used "
The following words are always in plural form: belongings, congratulations, earnings, clothes, remains, scissors, pants.
Congratulations are in order.
Her belongings are scattered all over the hotel floor.
Mark's earnings amount to more than you'd expect.
Use the plural form of the main verb (no "s") or the linking verb ("are" or "were").