Singular and plural: details

May 6, 2011pdf

When none, neither, either and any are followed by of + plural noun or pronoun, they are normally used with singular verbs in a formal style in British English. Plural verbs are more common in informal British English and American English.

  • None of these answers is correct. (Formal British)
  • None of these answers are correct. (Informal British; American)
  • Neither of my parents has been outside India. (Formal)
  • Neither of my parents have been outside India. (Informal)

Another, a/an + adjective

We often use plural expressions of quantity after another and a/an + adjective.

  • I will be staying for another two weeks.
  • I have been waiting for a good four hours.
  • I spent a happy thirty minutes playing with the kids.

Every is usually used with singular nouns, but can be used before plural expressions in measurements of frequency.

  • Buses leave every five minutes.
  • I visit them every six weeks.

Sort of, kind of, type of etc

We do not usually use the article a/an after sort of, kind of, type of etc. But note that articles are often used in an informal style.

  • What sort of bird is that? (Formal)
  • What sort of a bird is that? (Informal)

Sort of, kind of and type of are usually followed by a singular noun.

  • This sort of car is very expensive.

Sort of, kind of and type of can also be followed by plural nouns in an informal style.

  • I am interested in any sort of cars.
Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."