Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    irene_myself is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    election and elections

    Hello)) Could you, please, explain the difference between "election" used in singular and plural? Like "election was conducted peacefully" and "elections are being held throughout the country". Can we use both interchangeably or do they have some specific shades of meaning? Thank you))

  2. #2
    VivienneM's Avatar
    VivienneM is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Scotland
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    I will use as an example a UK general election, which refers to the election of Members of Parliament to the House of Commons. A general election is made up of 650 individual elections [as there are 650 geographical areas, known as parliamentary constituencies] across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    It is "election" if we refer to the process or result of a general election of the country taken as a whole.
    e.g. "Today is Election Day!"
    "Who has won the election?"

    It is "elections" when we are talking about all something pertaining to or affecting all 650 constituencies:
    "Tomorrow, this country goes to the elections."
    "The elections have seen poor turnouts across the country."

    Compare "by-election":
    "There is a by-election tomorrow in Manchester Central."
    "By-elections are being held in Corby, Cardiff South and Penarth."

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    10,343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    What exactly is a "by-election" anyway?

    I would say that there are usually multiple "elections" on any given "election day." We selected a president, all the members of the House and 1/3 of the Senators this month. Plus local and state offices in different areas.

    But unless there is some special need to emphasize that there are different offices to be filled, it is normal to simply refer to the "election" that is upcoming or just passed.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,531
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    I think, because we are voting on so many offices at once, that we tend to use "elections" in the US, though we certainly say "election day" here too.

    In addition to voting for president a couple weeks ago, I voted for my US Congressman, my US Senator, my state Assemblyman, possibly my state senator (I was numb by then), the state attorney general, and the state auditor (I didn't even know we had one).

    I definintely said many times leading up to "election day" how I couldn't wait for "the elections" to be over so we wouldn't have to see any more commercials.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    In Britain, a general election is when we elect members to every seat in the House of Commons after the Queen has dissolved parliament. A by-election is when we elect a member in just one consituency, as a result of the departure of a member, through death or resignation. If more than one member has departed, there may be more than one by-election and, if the departures happen within a short time, then several by-elections may be held on the same day.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    10,343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    Thanks. We would have "special elections" for those types of situations. It varies by state and the office, but most schedule "special elections" to take place during the next normally scheduled election.

  7. #7
    irene_myself is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: election and elections

    thank you )))

Similar Threads

  1. elections
    By beachboy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 19-Apr-2010, 08:21
  2. [Vocabulary] farce election/election farce/farcical election
    By jiaruchan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2010, 22:39
  3. Kindly check my para on elections...
    By new2grammar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Apr-2009, 17:04
  4. Elections
    By queenbu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2006, 17:45
  5. Some vocabulary from USA 2004 Elections.
    By Muhammad Ali in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2004, 15:57

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •