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 Definition Grammatical form that designates, relates to or composed of more than one member, set, or kind of objects specified. [d] [e]
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Plural verbs

What would be an example of a plural verb? --Robert W King 10:07, 14 October 2007 (CDT)

Look in the brackets... - Robert Thorpe 12:59, 14 October 2007 (CDT)
You could argue this for other languages but not for English. Most of the time verbs aren't inflected for number, and the only systematic exception is the third person singular -s - which is obviously not plural. Verbs like 'are' are exceptions, and can be used to denote the singular depending on context - e.g. 'you are' could be either, and 'they are' can be singular for many speakers. John Stephenson 09:10, 22 October 2007 (CDT)

I wonder if it is so wise to remove almost all mention of plural verbs. While English has a very small number of verbs conjugated for number, many other languages do. If I am not mistaken, French, German, and Latin do. I realize that these languages decline their verbs for number, person, amd tense i.e., je parle, tu parles, il parle, nous parlons, vous parlez, ils parlent (present.) Yet, in leaving out verbs, you may have made this article somewhat Anglo-philic. --Ruth Ifcher 22:00, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

Absolutely right. Robert Thorpe 08:02, 25 October 2007 (CDT)
I was trying to avoid that by emphasising other languages, rather than just European ones. For English-speaking readers, though,we do need English example for the purposes of understanding. I have added a section on Hungarian to try to even out the verbs part. John Stephenson 22:14, 25 October 2007 (CDT)


I have rewritten a lot of this, deleting some sections which I felt did not approach a complete picture. For example, the original version (compare to begin with defined 'plural' in terms of English -s and nouns alone, whereas in fact it's just one manifestation of the grammatical category of number, and obviously applies to more languages than just English. I also removed the stuff about plural verbs (see above), and tried to emphasise number in other languages. John Stephenson 09:10, 22 October 2007 (CDT)

Plural Markers

You say, "The English plural marker is represented in writing as -s, but it has several different pronunciations depending on its phonological environment:..." Actually, English and many other languages have other plural markers. In English, some examples are: ox -> oxen, man -> men, etc. French does the same. I think you should modify your generalization about "s" being the plural marker. --Ruth Ifcher 21:20, 28 October 2007 (CDT)

You're right this needs to be clarified, but I would dispute that those are genuine plural markers because they're not productive, i.e. you can't coin a new word blik and intuitively decide the plural is bliken. Words like ox and oxen are probably stored in the lexicon separately. John Stephenson 23:40, 28 October 2007 (CDT)
Do you only consider "productive" word formations? I guess I am more "descriptive." --Ruth Ifcher 20:21, 29 October 2007 (CDT)