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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    "Are all keys" or "Are all key"

    Hello,

    I hope you would be able to help me with the following sentence, please - which of the following versions is the right one, and why:

    1. Listening, caring and understanding are all key to a successful relationship or

    2. Listening, caring and understanding are all keys to a successful relationship


    It seems like there should be an "s", meaning "keys" (because we're dealing with multiple actions), but it doesn't ring right.

    Furthermore, when searching on Google for the exact combination of "are all keys to a successful", I found ~448K appearances with of "keys" (plural), but more than 2 million (more than quadruple) the same exact sentence with "key", meaning singular.

    Would appreciate your help!

    Thank you!

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Are all keys" or "Are all key"

    In this use, "key" is an adjective, not a noun. Therefore, there is no plural.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Mar-2014 at 07:42. Reason: Non-essential QUOTE deleted

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Are all keys" or "Are all key"

    Both are equally correct. It depends on whether you consider "key" to be a noun or an adjective here. In my opinion, "key" is the more common usage in AmE today, but there is nothing wrong with "keys." Google is not a reliable way of researching questions about English usage. You should consult instead COCA, the Corpus of Contemporary American English.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: "Are all keys" or "Are all key"

    Thank you very much, that's very helpful!

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Are all keys" or "Are all key"

    Your appreciation is welcome but there is no need to write a new post to say "Thank you". Simply click on the "Thank" button at the bottom of any post you find helpful. It saves us all time.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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