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Singular it's a notion that comes from singulāris, a term of the Latin language. As adjective , can be used to qualify what is uncommon, anomalous or surprising .

For example: “Biologists claimed that it was a fact singular: it is not common for an animal of this species to attack a human being ”, “Before the resignation of all the members of the directive commission, the club lives a singular moment”, “This is an actor with a unique talent, since he is able to make us go from crying to laughter in a fraction of a second”.

The singular, in this way, is associated with characteristics that escape normal . If we take the case of a league of soccer whose teams have an average of 2,1 goals per game, with the exception of a scoring set 4,3 goals per game, it can be said that this last team has a singular offensive power .

In the field of grammar , the concept of singular refers to the amount of single item to which a word refers. In other words, nouns expressed in the singular mention a single thing or a single copy of the species or type in question.

The noun "dog", to cite a case, is expressed in the singular. Instead, "dogs" is the same noun but mentioned in the plural. If someone says they have "a dog", has only one animal of this species. Different is the case of the one who claims to have "dogs": can be two, three or more animals.

With nouns collective a particularity occurs: in the singular, they mention a group of various similar elements. A "Pack" (singular) is a group of dogs, several "Jaurías" (plural) are several groups of groups.

Just as collective nouns cannot express the idea of ​​a single copy or individual of a class, uncountable nouns (such as water, oil, fear, air, pleasure, ink and wind) are immeasurable, cannot be accounted for or imply a specific amount. To do this they must use other words, such as units .

While sentences like "I have to buy a water" or "these are my only pleasures" are accepted in everyday speech, it is really an inaccurate and too concise way of communicating certain ideas ; In these particular cases, "a water" probably refers to "a bottle of water", while "pleasures" are actually "activities" or "situations" that give pleasure to the issuer.

In Spanish we associate the idea of ​​plural with the words ending in 's', so we assume that the rest of the nouns are singular. Having defined the concepts of collective and uncountable noun, it goes without saying that this rule It is not very reliable.

On the other hand, sticking so much to this idea that the final 's' indicates the presence of a plural can be counterproductive when studying other Languages , in which the rules are different. In English, for example, we have examples of words in which the singular and plural are written exactly the same, something that happens with "fish" (fish or fish) and "sheep" (sheep or sheep). There is also the case of the word "children", which is the plural of "child".

As if this difference was not impressive enough for Spanish speakers, there are some languages ​​in which the noun cannot be classified according to number , since it does not include that idea in its meaning; such is the case of Japanese, where context is always necessary to know how many objects or subjects are being spoken, or at least if it is one or more.

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