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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1

    Smile Phenomena or phenomenon?

    Can you please enlighten me on the usage of phenomenon? The sentence I encountered was this:

    "Serious traffic jams have become common phenomenon."

    I think that it is not correct and changed it to:

    "Serious traffic jams have become a common phenomena."

    Is my sentence correct? I am confused with the usage of phenomena and using "a" with "phenomena".

    Thank you for your advice

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: Phenomena or phenomenon?

    The "-on" ending is singular.
    The "-a" ending is plural.

    The sentence you quoted should have had an article: a common phenomenon.

    Like many of the Latin, Greek, and other "ancient" endings, many native speakers today don't bother with the difference.

    For example, you will hear "data" used with a singular verb (I do it myself sometimes). Many won't even know there are singular forms for some of these nouns, and what they are accustomed to seeing is actually the plural.

    [not a teacher]

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