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A SALESMAN who threatened to poison food at Marks and Spencer stores unless his demands for £140,000 were met was jailed yesterday for five years.
This sentence is taken from the BNC.
Why is a plural rather than a singular used in this sentence? Can the singular be used? And any difference between them?
May I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
It is a case of blackmail.
'Demand' could be in singular or plural.
It is singular when you are referring to a single demand for a specific sum of money.
Normally, ransom is not paid until some negotiation is done. So,'demand' could be plural when you are talking about the same demand being repeated many times over a period of time in the negotiation process.
not a teacher