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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
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      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 431

    Question Plural Or Singular PART2

    Hi all,

    Im confused whether correct or not by using plural or singular in certain sentences..

    for an example>: ABC company sells bicycles

    this sentence mean plural if i add "s" behind the bicycle?

    besides that, what are the differences between those two sentences?

    1-1they are sellers
    2-2they are seller

    Warmest Regards,


  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: Plural Or Singular PART2

    Look carefully at the sentence:

    ABC company sells bicycles.

    "ABC company" is the subject -- the company is doing the selling. "Bicycles" is the object.

    In this sentence, one company (singular) sells many bicycles (plural). Here, only "bicycles" is plural, not the whole sentence (after all, it wouldn't be a very good company if they only ever sold one bicycle).

    The verb agrees with the subject, which is singular. English is very confusing here, because most verbs add an s in the third person singular form, while most nouns add an s to indicate the plural. The subject -- ABC Company -- is singular, and so the verb is also singular. Only the object is plural.

    Your sentence "They are seller(s)" is a little different, but not much. "They" is the subject, and you can think of "seller(s)" as the object, but "they" and "seller(s)" both refer to the same thing -- the verb is like an equals sign:

    they = sellers

    For this reason, we often say that "sellers" here is the complement of the verb, not the object. Because the subject and the complement are actually the same thing, if the subject is plural then so is the complement. You therefore need the plural: They are sellers. If you are only talking about one person, you need to use a singular subject and a singular verb: He (or she) is a seller.

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