Problems with singular and plural nouns(skill 19)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Previous TOEFL Problem: Problem with Modal (Skill 18)

A problem that is common in the Written Expression section of the TOEFL test is a singular noun used where a plural noun is needed, or a plural noun used where a singular noun is needed.

He just finished several book*.

She studied each chapters

In the first example, several indicates that the plural books is needed. In the second example, each indicates that the singular chapter is needed.

In the Written Expression section of the TOEFL test you should watch very carefully for key words such as each, every, a, and single that indicate that a noun should be singular. You should also watch carefully for key words such as many, several, and three that indicate that a noun should be plural.

The following chart lists the key words that indicate to you whether a noun should be singular or plural.


Each of the following sentences contains at least one key word to tell you if a noun should be singular or plural. Circle the key words. Draw arrows to the nouns they describe. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. She talked to each people in the room. (I)

  • after each is singular object, so each people should be each person.
2. There is not a single bit of food in the refrigerator. (C)

  • after single is singular noun, so a single bit is correct.
3. You need two piece of weight loss pills (I)

  • after two is plural noun, so two piece should be two pieces
 4. Both classes started on time. (C)

  • After both is plural noun, so both classes is correct
 5. We took a new routes to the beach house.(I)

  • after a is singular noun, so a new routes is incorrect and it should be a new route

6. He gave many different reasons for his actions. (C)

  • after many is plural noun, so many different reasons is correct.

7. You must answer every questions on the test. (I)

  • after every is singular noun, so every question is incorrect and it it should be every question.
8. She tried several times to call me. (C)

  • after several is plural noun, so several times is correct.
9. He offered me only one glass of water. (C)

  • after one is singular noun, so one glass is correct.
10. We had various kind of drinks with the meal.(I)

  • after various is plural noun, so various kind is incorrect, it should be various kinds.
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Next Skill 20: Problem with Countable and uncountable noun


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