A specific sentence makes me confused on Singular and plural


  • a.1) John and Sam are friend.
  • a.2) John and Sam are friends.

Now if you say (a.2) is correct and (a.3) then what about (b.1),

  • b.1) John and Liza are couple.

Consider another example,

  • c.1) John and Sam both are smart.

I want to ask you about the correct rule for such sentence construction.

If I made any grammatical mistake in the question then please mention it in comment

Siddhartha Sadhukhan

Posted 2016-10-19T17:41:37.857

Reputation: 101

1c1 is non-idiomatic (almost everyone says *John and Sam are both smart*). a1 and b1 are simply ungrammatical (b1 should be *...are a couple*). But what exactly are you confused about here? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2016-10-19T17:52:09.757

This is just a comment about your grammar. In a few places, you made the grammatical mistake of leaving out a necessary article. "John and Liza are couple" is ungrammatical and should be replaced by "John and Liza are a couple." I would rephrase the last sentence as "if I made any grammatical mistakes in the question, please mention it in the comments." – sumelic – 2016-10-19T18:01:07.070

1@ Siddhartha Sadhukhan it seems you have a problem with the complemet (the part coming after be words here). Probably your confusion is why in A1, we say friends but in other sentences we don't use s. Well, you should know that a couple is a noun which means 2 people who are married so if you say couples it mean 4 or even more people which is not what you mean here because you're talking about two people. In sentence C1, smart is an adjective we don't normally add s to an adjective to make it plural. So we say e.g. they're tall instead of they's talls. – Yuri – 2016-10-19T19:10:40.623

@Yuri then what will be, (1) John and Sam are enemy. (2) John and Sam are enemies. where (2) is correct. Like "COUPLE" can you give some other examples – Siddhartha Sadhukhan – 2016-10-19T20:26:14.547

1@ Siddhartha Sadhukhan enemy is like friend: they're enemies. More examples? they're basketball players/doctors/notebooks. Notice all these are nouns refering to one thing or person before you add s to them and make them plural. More examples for words like couple? They're a team/group/band/pack. Notice here these nouns refers to a group of people or things not one thing/person. More examples like smart? They're big/shiny/soft. Notice these are adjectives and can describe one thing/person or a group of people/things and don't take s. – Yuri – 2016-10-19T21:51:04.007



a.2 Is correct because friends is the plural when you are talking about 2 of them.

  • John and Sam are hard workers.

b.1 Should be "John and Liza are a couple" because the word "couple" already means two, so it should not be pluralized unless you are talking about more than one couple. Other words that already imply more than one are treated the same.

  • They are a great group.
  • John, Liza, and Anthony are a great trio.

c1. Is correct because you are using an adjective to describe them (so no pluralization is needed), which is different then using the noun "friend" to identify them.

  • John and Liza are funny.
  • John and Liza are entertaining.


Posted 2016-10-19T17:41:37.857

Reputation: 186

can you put some example in this context? – Siddhartha Sadhukhan – 2016-10-19T17:57:24.693

i mean examples – Siddhartha Sadhukhan – 2016-10-19T17:58:13.043

Added some examples – earl3s – 2016-10-19T19:33:28.377