What nouns look plural but are singular?

What nouns look plural but are singular?

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Most nouns ending with ‘s’ are considered to be plural but that is not always the case.

In this blog, we will be addressing a group of singular nouns that end with an ‘s’. 

The easiest way to remember is to categorise them. Keep in mind that if a noun represents a single person, place, thing or idea it also uses a singular verb. It will be singular in number and meaning. 

Some fields of study end with ‘ics’. For example, mathematics, physics, economics, statistics, ethics, etc. These when used are followed by a singular verb: “Mathematics is my favourite subject.”

Few games look plural like checkers, dominoes, marbles, etc. “Dominoes is a tile based game played with gaming pieces.”

Some diseases end with an s – measles, mumps and rabies, for instance – and we use a singular verb. Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals

You need to keep in mind that there are some words which can have a plural and singular sense. For example: “Statistics (sing.) is required for this degree. The statistics (pl.) suggest women are better at this.”

Since we are talking about singular and plural verbs, there are some nouns which are followed by plural verbs. 

Cattle, people, police, gentry, peasantry, electorate, nobility, poultry, riches, odds, arms, fetters, pincers, tongs, sheers, binoculars, pliers, scissors, trousers, pants, trappings, pyjamas, briefs, tights, shoes, etc. 

Ex. (1) Cattle give us milk. (2) The people of India are very generous.

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