#EngTrivia: Confusing Singular/Plural Word

English plurals are usually easy to form. We can add -s to the end of the singular word, e.g.: chair (singular) or two chairs (plural). But, like almost all of the rules in English grammar, there are exceptions for the plural form of some nouns. Here is a list of the confusing singular/plural words.

 

Criterion & Criteria

‘Criterion’ is singular form and ‘criteria’ is plural form.

Meaning: a rule or principal used in evaluation.

E.g.:

“One criterion for grading this essay will be announced.”

“What were the criteria used to choose the winner?”

 

Phenomenon & Phenomena

‘Phenomenon’ is singular form and ‘phenomena’ is plural form.

Meaning: an observable fact or event.

E.g.:

“Star Wars eventually became a cultural phenomenon.”

“Lightning and earthquakes are natural phenomena.”

 

Datum & Data

‘Datum’ is singular form and ‘data’ is plural form.

Meaning: a single piece of information

E.g.:

“The datum shows little without the rest of the statistics.”

“The data were collected over a period of three months.”

 

Stratum & strata

‘Stratum’ is singular form and ‘strata’ is plural form.

Meaning: a level or class to which people are assigned according to their social status, education, or income.

E.g.:

“Discrimination exist in every stratum of society.”

“Different social strata are most likely crashing into each other.”

 

Bacterium & bacteria

‘Bacterium’ is singular form and ‘bacteria’ is plural form.

Meaning: a type of unicellular microorganism that are important to human because of their chemical activities but some of its type often cause disease.

E.g.:

“Every bacterium is prokaryotic.”

“Tetanus is a serious ilness caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria.”

plural singular

Source:

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

 

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

 

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