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Singular or plural?

A Clothes, etc

Some nouns have only a plural form (with s) and take a plural verb. The clothes were in the dryer, not The clothe was ...

The goods have been sent to you direct from our factory, not The good has ... My belongings are all packed up in suitcases.

PLURAL NOUNS

arms (weapons), belongings (the things you own), clothes, congratulations, contents (what is inside something), customs (bringing things into a country), earnings (money you earn), goods (products, things for sale), outskirts (the outer part of a town), remains (what is left), surroundings (the environment, the things around you), thanks, troops (soldiers)

Some nouns have both a singular and a plural form with a difference in meaning.

SINGULAR PLURAL

Our special price is £10 cheaper than normal. So My savings are in the bank. I'm going to take

don't miss this saving of £10. out all the money and buy a new car.

The storm did a lot of damage to buildings. The newspaper had to pay £2 million in

damages after printing untrue stories about a

politician.
I've got a pain in my back. It really hurts. I checked the figures carefully three times. I took

great pains to get them exactly right.

B News, etc

Some nouns have a plural form (with s) but take a singular verb. The news was worse than I had expected, not The news were ... Economics is a difficult subject, not Economics are ...

NOUNS TAKING A SINGULAR VERB

The word news

The subjects economics, mathematics/maths, physics, politics and statistics

The activities athletics and gymnastics

The games billiards and darts

The illness measles

C Means, etc

Some nouns ending in s have the same singular and plural form. This means of transport saves energy. Both means of transport save energy. This species of insect is quite rare. All these species of insect are quite rare.

NOUNS WITH ONE FORM

crossroads, means, series (e.g. a series of TV documentaries), species (kind, type)

Works (a factory) and headquarters (a main office) take either a singular or a plural verb. The steel works has/have closed down.


80 Exercises

1 Clothes, etc (A)

Put in the nouns and add s if necessary.

► Claire had to take her luggage through customs (custom).

1 Please accept this gift as an expression of our..................................... (thank).

2 The woman is demanding…………………………(damage) for her injuries.

3 The ..................................... (pain) was so bad I called the doctor.

4 The old man carried his few (belonging) in a plastic bag.

5 If we pay in cash, we make a ........................... (saving) of ten per cent.

6 More (good) should be transported by rail instead of by road.

7 The gas explosion caused some..................................... (damage) to the flats.

8 We're going to spend all our....................................... (saving) on a new car.

9 The company always takes................................... (pain) to protect its image.

2 News, etc (B)



Look at each group of words and say what they are part of. Start your answers like this: ath..., eco..., geo..., his..., mat..., phy...

► atoms, energy, heat, light physics

1 algebra, numbers, shapes, sums

2 dates, nations, past times, wars

3 the high jump, the long jump, running, throwing .................................

4 industry, money, prices, work

5 the climate, the earth, mountains, rivers

3 Clothes, news, etc (A-B)

Choose the correct verb form.

► The television news is/are at ten o'clock.

1 These clothes is/are the latest fashion.

2 Maths is/are Emma's favourite subject.

3 The troops was/were involved in a training exercise.

4 The contents of the briefcase seems/seem to have disappeared.

5 Darts is/are often played in pubs in England.

6 The athletics we watched was/were quite exciting.

7 The remains of the meal was/were thrown in the bin.

4 Clothes, news, means, etc (A-C)

Complete this letter Rachel has received from her sister. Choose the correct forms.

(►)Thank/Thanks for your letter. Your news (1) was/were interesting. We must talk soon.

What about us? Well, we're living on the (2) outskirt/outskirts of town, not far from the company

(3) headquarter/headquarters, where Jeremy works. We've spent nearly all our (4) saving/savings on the

house. That wouldn't matter so much if I hadn't crashed the car last week and done some

(5) damage/damages to the front of it. More bills! But at least I wasn't hurt. The house is nice actually, but

the surroundings (6) isn't/aren't very pleasant. We're on a very busy (7) crossroad/crossroads.

I'm doing the course I told you about. Statistics (8) is/are an easy subject, I find, but economics

(9) gives/give me problems!



Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1548


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