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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    "Data is" or "data are"

    I hope anyone can help me with this, what is actually correct in English 'data' is or 'data are'?

    In other languages, like Swedish, the word data is always in the plural form....

    Thanks

  2. banderas's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I hope anyone can help me with this, what is actually correct in English 'data' is or 'data are'?

    In other languages, like Swedish, the word data is always in the plural form....

    Thanks
    see this:

    AskOxford: Is 'data' singular or plural?

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    #3

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Thanks,

    So the 'data are' should be used... correct?

  4. banderas's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Quote Originally Posted by sach View Post
    Thanks,

    So the 'data are' should be used... correct?
    Theoretically, "datum" is the singular and "data" is plural. However in common usage "data" is often used for both.


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    #5

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    M-W:

    data

    usage Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.
    Again, it doesn't matter what the plural is or was in Latin. English is not Latin. Words are borrowed, rules aren't. When you think about it, such a notion is ludicrous. The rules for our language, any language would have to be constantly relearned to match the numerous languages from which we've borrowed words.

    English has its own rules for forming plurals, rules that are natural to ENLs. From the google data, though it's certainly not conclusive, it seems that data as a singular is the preferred choice.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,450,000 English pages for "data is".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 2,620,000 English pages for "data are".
    Last edited by riverkid; 03-Apr-2008 at 20:16.

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    #6

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Getting confuse. I am writing my thesis, so I want it to be academic correct. I understand that neither of it is wrong. But i wanna know which one is academically correct.

    Thanks

  6. banderas's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Quote Originally Posted by sach View Post
    Getting confuse. I am writing my thesis, so I want it to be academic correct. I understand that neither of it is wrong. But i wanna know which one is academically correct.

    Thanks
    UK scientific publishing usually still prefers treating it as a plural. The New York Times regularly use it in the plural. Go for "data are" then.

    In spoken, infromal English I would rather threat it as a singular (as a mass noun).

  7. #8

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    As someone that uses "data are" quite often and having it changed by others is frustrating. That said on checking the conclusion has always been that data are is correct. The unfortunate thing is that when spoken as a plural is sometimes just sounds wrong. In an effort to avoid confusion and frowns from others I turn the sentence to avoid it where possible.


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    #9

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Quote Originally Posted by sach View Post
    Getting confused. I am writing my thesis, so I want it to be academically correct. I understand that neither of them is wrong. But i wanna know which one is academically correct.

    Thanks
    For that you'd have to find out which style manual your professor wants you to use, Sach. Style manuals differ in how they treat certain aspects of formal written English. Ask which one to use and follow it and then you'll be completely safe.


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    #10

    Re: "Data is" or "data are"

    Quote Originally Posted by sach View Post
    Getting confuse. I am writing my thesis, so I want it to be academic correct. I understand that neither of it is wrong. But i wanna know which one is academically correct.

    Thanks
    The datum is

    The data are


    However, it is accepted that "data" has become a term in its own right and will take the singular.

    Can you give an example of your usage?

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