Plural and singular


1) We use pair nouns with plural verbs. – trousers, binoculars, clippers, jeans, pants, pliers, pyjamas, shoes, sunglasses, tights.  When we put pair nouns after the phrase a pair of we use a singular verb

a) These scissors aren’t very sharp

b) A good pair of scissors is hard to find

2) We use group nouns– audience, public, band, club, committee, family, jury, majority, parliament, team, government – with plural verbs to talk about group of people as several people

a) The public are more likely to complain if they have to pay more taxes.

3) Plural nouns are: clothes, congratulations, groceries, outskirts, remains, surroundings, troops

a) Good manners are important.

4) Plural nouns that do not end with –s: cattle, clergy, people, police, poultry

a) The police are looking for a criminal.


1) Singular nouns are words with “s” and appear to be plural but are used with singular verbs when we talk about areas of study, activities and disease.  – statistics, aerobics, rabies, athletics, billiards, cards, diabetes, electronics, measles, physics, politics

a) Statistics was a difficult course.

2) We use group nounsaudience, public, band, club, committee, family, jury, majority, parliament, team, governmentto talk about group of people as a single unit.

a) The public isn’t really interested in what the government is doing unless it increases taxes

3) We also use singular verbs after some phrases with nouns in the plural describing amounts.

a) Five miles is a long walk

b) Twenty pounds is too much

c) Two weeks isn’t enough time