Plural acronym verb form: "PGCs stand for" vs. "PGCs stands for"


Is it right to say:

PGCs stands for primordial germ cells.

PGCs is a plural, so is it correct to use the singular verb form stands with it?

Tyto alba

Posted 2016-11-13T16:11:14.167

Reputation: 341

As a note, when introducing an acronym, it's generally easier to read the sentence if you phrase it as "Bob researched primordial germ cells (PCGs)". – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- – 2016-11-14T02:58:07.337



It's more common to give the meaning of an acronym in singular form:

PGC stands for primordial germ cell.

If you've given this definition, it's obvious to readers that PGCs is the plural.

If you were to give the definition of "PGCs," you would still use the singular form of the verb:

PGCs stands for primordial germ cells.

This is because the subject is the acronym "PGCs," not the primordial germ cells themselves. For example, the sentence could be reworded to more clearly show that it is the acronym that is the subject:

The acronym "PGCs" stands for primordial germ cells.


Posted 2016-11-13T16:11:14.167

Reputation: 5 462

1Might be worth noting that the plural of the abbreviation PGC would be pronounced pee-gee-sees while the abbreviation PGCs would be pronounced pee-gee-see-ess. Also, PCG is an abbreviation, not an acronym (the difference is that you pronounce it by naming the letters, rather than treating them as spelling a word—which you could never do with PCG). – KRyan – 2016-11-14T03:31:32.073

Could you cite a book/ an authentic website putting some light on this matter? – Tyto alba – 2016-11-14T05:37:01.007