Monday, October 8, 2007


Often, I see cases of my students making mistakes with the plural form of the collective noun, equipment. I see them writing "equipments," which is wrong. As a collective noun, the word equipment means anywhere from one item to several, like laboratory equipment or medical equipment (both mean more than one piece of equipment). In general, we do not add "s" to collective nouns when we mean the plural. Therefore, equipment is both plural and singular. If you want a clear distinction between the singular and plural, you can say piece of equipment to mean one item.

Here's an example:

Prixie: What equipment do you think should I buy for a home office?
Kat: I think you should start with computer equipment.
Pat: A computer is a good piece of equipment to start with.
Prixie: Apart from a computer, what other equipment should I buy?
Pat: A fax machine.
Kat: Maybe a scanner?
Prixie: You're right, I could use all that equipment.

To conclude, remember, we never add "s" to equipment. Don't lose the electronic equipment (cellphones, iPods, laptops) you carry around!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Adara,

I'm a fan of your blog. It's informative and easy to understand. About this article though, I'm bothered by the sentence, "You're right, I could use all that equipment."

When is it proper to use "all those equipment" vs "all that equipment"?