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....
So the 'data are' should be used... correct?
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.M-W:
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.
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.
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.
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.