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Nouns:  Plural vs. Singular

 

Sometimes, you might wonder why we can modify a plural noun with a singular noun.

 

For example:

Hereditary diseases are a crisis potentially affecting many people in the world.

 

The reason is that we are stating something that is singular in meaning.

 

In this case, even though “hereditary diseases” are plural, we are talking about one crisis: the crisis that hereditary diseases in general creates.

 

Here are some examples to help you understand more around this topic:

 

Chinese herbs are considered an alternative treatment.

=>  Here, we are talking about an alternative treatment: the treatment of using Chinese herbs.

 

Genital warts are considered a sexually transmitted disease; therefore, diagnosis will often have an emotional impact on the sufferer.

=> When you get wart, you don’t just get one.  You get several.  However, it is in general a disease: a sexually transmitted disease when occurred in genitals. 

 

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