Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 224
    #1

    plural or singular

    I have seen "the London Olympics" referred to as a singular noun, as in the title "The London Olympics is a corporate lockdown"
    I've also seen the plural use of Olympic Games, as in the sentence "The London Olympic Games are safe and secure"
    I'm confused about this, and wonder whether "the London Olympics" or "the London Olympic Games" should be used as a singular or a plural form?
    Can I say "each Olympics was attractive?"
    or "Olympics is a double-edged sword, which brings the host city both opportunity and challenge"?

  1. Academic Writing's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Aug 2012
    • Posts: 110
    #2

    Re: plural or singular

    That is a very interesting question chance22. I checked the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary (I think this is the concise version), and I do not see notations of singularity or plurality in noun entries (surely I must be mistaken, but I simply don't see the notation on the page).

    In the online version of Merriam-Webster Collegiate, the term Olympic Games is plural and therefore takes a plural verb (e.g., are). I believe the unabridged version has a listing for the term Olympics, but I do not have a copy.

    Out of curiosity, I did a quick Ngram search of Google books in both U.S. and British English. The usage patterns of "Olympics is" and "Olympics are" are remarkably similar over time (almost identical in U.S. English, and very close in British English, although the latter slightly favors "Olympics are").

    There are differing opinions on the web. Here is a perspective from one grammar blog (among many others of course). In another page, the author uses "Olympics is" in her video description but then says "Olympics happen" a couple of times in her opening statements in the video, which just goes to show how tricky this one can be! :)
    SeriousScholar.com

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 224
    #3

    Re: plural or singular

    Quote Originally Posted by Academic Writing View Post
    In the online version of Merriam-Webster Collegiate, the term Olympic Games is plural and therefore takes a plural verb (e.g., are). I believe the unabridged version has a listing for the term Olympics, but I do not have a copy.

    Out of curiosity, I did a quick Ngram search of Google books in both U.S. and British English. The usage patterns of "Olympics is" and "Olympics are" are remarkably similar over time (almost identical in U.S. English, and very close in British English, although the latter slightly favors "Olympics are").

    There are differing opinions on the web. Here is a perspective from one grammar blog (among many others of course). In another page, the author uses "Olympics is" in her video description but then says "Olympics happen" a couple of times in her opening statements in the video, which just goes to show how tricky this one can be! :)
    Thank Academic Writing very much for your timely help. I find the reference sources you've listed useful. Since both plural and sigular forms are used, I would prefer to use the singular form of "Olympics" when it is referred to as one event, and the plural form of "The Olympic Games".

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] singular or plural
    By notletrest in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Mar-2011, 10:32
  2. singular or plural
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Apr-2010, 12:32
  3. the use of singular and plural
    By calmalways in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-Jan-2008, 00:14
  4. Either, neither; singular, plural
    By retro in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2006, 00:51
  5. Plural or Singular?
    By satara42 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2006, 12:29

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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