Grammar Tip – Uncountable Nouns With Verbs

BizWritingTip reader: “Can you please advise which sentence is correct? ‘Other information remain unchanged.’ Or, ‘Other information remains unchanged.’ Is the word ‘information’ considered a plural or singular noun?”

BizWritingTip response: The word “information” is deemed an uncountable noun. In other words, you cannot count it on your fingers. Uncountable nouns take a singular verb.

Examples (Uncountable nouns)

Charity is a virtue.

Her writing is excellent.

Freedom is important.

Therefore, to answer your question, the correct wording is “Other information remains unchanged.” The verb is singular.

Uncountable nouns vary from collective nouns. Collective nouns are words that are singular in form but are made up of a group, for example, boardcommitteecompanystaff, and department.

Although uncountable nouns always take a singular verb, a collective noun uses a singular verb only if the group is acting as a unit. If the members are acting independently, it uses a plural verb.

Examples (correct)

Grammar is important. (“Grammar” is an uncountable noun. Uncountable nouns take a singular verb always.)

The committee has met its objectives. (“Committee” is a collective noun with members acting together. It requires a singular verb.)

The committee have not been able to agree on their objectives. (“Committee” is a collective noun with members acting separately. Therefore, the verb is plural.)

Note: Although grammatically correct, this sentence is awkward. I would suggest changing it to “The members of the committee have not been able to agree on their objectives.”

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>