What? No Plural?

This post isn’t a writing lesson, exactly; more of a linguistic commentary.

Some words don’t have plurals, or they look like plurals but aren’t, or they look singular but can still be plural. I suspect this makes English a bit tricky for English as a second language folks.

  • Look like plurals but aren’t: physics, measles, shingles (adult measles), loggerheads, trousers, scissors, forensics (see the comic)
  • Look like plurals whether singular or plural: species, premises
  • Look like singular whether singular or plural: fish, deer, moose
  • Don’t have plurals: information, cosmos
  • Always plural: krill, plankton
  • Can go both ways: Pair of trousers, pair of scissors, fishes

The trick, of course, is to use the correct singular or plural verb.


I pulled these off the top of my head. Can you add any? Send a comment.