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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #7495: Singular or plural.
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Nouns | Plural [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Plural - Plural forms - Countable or Uncountable? - Plural of words - Verb-singular or plural? - Plural - Plural of nouns - Plural: Nouns ending in -ff, -f, -fe
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Singular or plural.

    Singular or plural.


    These words are plural, so they take a plural verb:

    • My trousers are too long, (not 'is too long')


    You can also use a pair of + these words:

    Those are nice jeans, or That's a nice pair of jeans, (not 'a nice jeans')

    • I need some new glasses, or I need a new pair of glasses.


    B/ Some nouns end in -ics but are not usually plural. For example: 

    athletics/ gymnasticsmathematics (or maths)/ physics/ electronics/ economics/ politics

    Gymnastics is my favourite sport.

    News is not plural.

    • What time is the news on television? (not 'are the news')


    Some words ending in -s can be singular or plural. For example:
    means ==> a means of transport ==> many means
    of transport
    series ==> a television series ==> two television series

    species ==> a species of bird ==>  200 species of bird


    C/ Some singular nouns are often used with a plural verb. For example:

    government/ staff/ team/ family/ audience/ committee/ company/ firm


    These nouns are all groups of people. We often think of them as a number of people (= 'they'), not as one thing (= 'it'). So we often use a plural verb:


    The government (= they) want to increase taxes.

    The staff at the school (= they) are not happy with their new working conditions.


    In the same way, we often use a plural verb after the name of a sports team or a company:

    Scotland are playing France next week (in a football match).

    Shell have increased the price of petrol.


    A singular verb (The government wants... / Shell has, etc.) is also possible.

    We always use a plural verb with police:

    • The police have arrested a friend of mine, (not 'The police has')

    • Do you think the police are well-paid?

    Note that a person in the police is 'a policeman / a policewoman / a police officer' (not 'a police').


    D/ We do not often use the plural of person ('persons'). We normally use people (a plural word):

    • He's a nice person,    but    They are nice people.

    Many people don't have enough to eat. (not 'doesn't have')


    E/ We think of a sum of money, a period of time, a distance etc. as one thing. So we use a singular verb:

    Twenty thousand pounds (= it) was stolen in the robbery, (not 'were stolen')

    Three years (=it) is a long time to be without a job. (not 'Three years are...)

    Six miles is a long way to walk every day



    Choose the correct form of the verb, singular or plural.

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    English exercise "Singular or plural." created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. Gymnastics my favourite sport.

    2. The trousers you bought for me me.

    3. The police to interview two men about the robbery last week.

    4. Physics my best subject at school.

    5. Can I borrow your scissors? Mine sharp enough.

    6. Fortunately the news as bad as we expected.

    7. Three days long enough for a good holiday.

    8. I can't find my binoculars. Do you know where ?

    9. Do you think the people happy with the government ?

    10. the police know how the accident happened?

    11. I don't like very hot weather. Thirty degrees too warm for me.

    12. Twenty thousand pounds stolen in the robbery.

    13. The staff at the school happy with their new working conditions.

    14. Scotland playing France next week (in a football match).

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Singular or plural.
    A free English exercise to learn English.
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