Is "series" Plural or Singular?



Such expressions as

Drama series


TV series

are plural or singular?

E.g. I like to watch drama/TV series or I like to watch a drama/TV series?


Posted 2014-05-12T13:17:35.773

Reputation: 1 189



"Series" can be singular or plural depending on context. Both of your sentences are therefore correct but different.

I like to watch TV series.

uses series as a plural and means you like to watch a number of different TV shows.

I like to watch a TV series.

uses series as singular and means you like to watch one TV show.

Nigel Harper

Posted 2014-05-12T13:17:35.773

Reputation: 2 311


Nice Question.

The word series is both singular and plural.

Good information from thefreedictionary quoting American Heritage Dictionary as its source:

Series is both a singular and a plural form. When it has the singular sense of "one set," it takes a singular verb, even when series is followed by of and a plural noun: A series of lectures is scheduled. When it has the plural sense of "two or more sets," it takes a plural verb: Two series of lectures are scheduled: one for experts and one for laypeople.

Our concern is series in broadcasting. So,

a set of radio or television programs that deal with the same subject or that have the same characters.* -OALD

Having this said, you watch a TV series. And yes, do consider Nigel's answer if you are specific about one particular program or series.

Maulik V

Posted 2014-05-12T13:17:35.773

Reputation: 66 188


It's like the word "fish" — it's both. (Although "fishes" has been used frequently as a reluctantly accepted plural of fish. For example, the slang statement, "sleep with the fishes".)

Rodney B.

Posted 2014-05-12T13:17:35.773

Reputation: 21

Actually, 'fishes' is a proper plural and refers to multiple species of fish. When you say "there are so many fish in that aquarium," the reference is to the QUANTITY of ALL the fish in the tank. If you say "There are so many different fishes in the aquarium.", you are acknowledging species diversity and referring to the many different KINDS of fish in the tank. The same applies to fish as food in the grocery or at a sushi restaurant. e.g. "I have only eaten half of the fishes on this menu." In short, "fish" (pl.) refers to the number of creatures, and "fishes" refers to the number of species. – BatJac – 2017-03-08T11:33:00.353