During our English lessons at the uni, I've again come across something I'm curious about. It's in the sentence: "Any factors other than price which might influence demand for A GOOD or service are grouped together as the underlying conditions of demand".
As far as I know, the noun "goods" is always plural and it cannot be singular. Is it a mistake in the textbook, or do I have out-of-date knowledge?
Demand: definition, impact on Canadians' lives and example
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(Times-Chambers Essential English Dictionary)
It says, 'good' can be a noun but it does not have a meaning of 'something for sale in a shop' so it is definitely not the singular form of 'goods'.
Goods, is a noun but always use it plural form.
As far as I know, Economists generally talk about 'Goods and Services'.
The given sentence may refer to a specific product.
Could some more natives express their views, please?
I guess I would put it this way:
The plural form 'goods' is standard (when it means 'wares' or 'things for sale'), and that 'goods and services' is also a standard collocation. However, in combination with the word 'service', the singular is occasionally used in order to indicate that the reference is to a single thing (even though the specific single thing is not mentioned). It also occurs to me that the singular 'good' would probably not be used with the words 'and service' (i.e. no one would say 'good and service') but rather, it would be used in combination with 'or service' -- just as it was in your sentence.
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