4
   

Grammar Question

 
 
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 08:23 pm
I'm not sure about using the singular to describe a plural noun.

1. The appetizers served their purpose(s).

2. The words had completely different meaning(s).

Is it correct to make purpose and meaning plural or no? Thanks!
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 552 • Replies: 5
No top replies

 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 08:33 pm
@perennialloner,
1. The appetizers served their purpose. "purpose" can mean singular or plural.

2. The words had completely different meanings. "words" can have different meanings. plural. e.g. cell can mean organism, a jail cell, or cell phone.

Is it correct to make purpose and meaning plural or no? Thanks!
nacredambition
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 11:39 pm
@perennialloner,

Imagine , if you will , a soirée where appetisers served their purpose and main courses , without waiting , followed close behind ; a world where words had completely different meaning to those ordinarily ascribed.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 08:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I stand corrected:

purpose

Is purpose plural? Purpose is singular.
The plural of purpose is purposes.

0 Replies
 
jessie Al
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2016 06:12 pm
@perennialloner,
Now remember a maximum in grammar is that the spirit of the MESSAGE is more important than any structure. There is no confusion if you think about your intent to be plural or not, if in fact both are right and neither of the two optins is wrong, then stick to the more precise one according to your message

perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2016 05:54 pm
@jessie Al,
I understand. Looking back, it's a dumb question. I hesitate every time I write something like "they were in a state of distress," wondering whether I should write "they were in states of distress" or "they were in distressed states" instead. I know the singular "state" sounds better, but for some reason I can't shake wanting to assign each of them their own state or whatever it is. It's very silly of me. I wish I could speak English better and am always looking for areas to improve which makes me forget how flexible English, and language in general, is.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Grammar Question
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 02/24/2017 at 10:44:13