Is the word "means" singular or plural?

This question has been answered · 5 replies
Anonymous:
When the word "means" is used as follows: the means to an end, is it singular or plural?
Approved answer (verified by )
If you are talking about just one way or method of achieving something, then you should use the singular form of the verb.

The American Heritage Dictionary has a good usage note about the word "means":
Usage Note: In the sense of "financial resources" means takes a plural verb: His means are more than adequate. In the sense of "a way to an end," means may be treated as either a singular or plural. It is singular when referring to a particular strategy or method: The best means of securing the cooperation of the builders is to appeal to their self-interest. It is plural when it refers to a group of strategies or methods: The most effective means for dealing with the drug problem have generally been those suggested by the affected communities. · Means is most often followed by of: a means of noise reduction. But for, to, and toward are also used: a means for transmitting sound; a means to an end; a means toward achieving equality.
Veteran Member7,021
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
ALL REPLIES
AnonymousWhen the word "means" is used as follows: the means to an end, is it singular or plural?

It could be either, but in most cases I've seen, it was singular. a means to an end is frequently seen, for example.

CJ
Veteran Member53,282
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Anonymous:
singular
Anonymous:
YankeeIf you are talking about just one way or method of achieving something, then you should use the singular form of the verb.
Singular form of the VERB?! C'mon, we're talking about singular or plural of a "NOUN", not a verb. You must be a real grammar expert! Lol
AnonymousSingular form of the VERB?! C'mon, we're talking about singular or plural of a "NOUN", not a verb.
In the sense of "financial resources" means takes a plural verb: His means are more than adequate. In the sense of "a way to an end," means may be treated as either a singular or plural.(AHD).It is therefore fine to talk of the singular or plural verb being used with 'means'.
Anonymous You must be a real grammar expert! Lol
Let's try to keep the discussion civilised, please.
Veteran Member10,476
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Live chat
Registered users can join here