How much <are, is> <the fried noodles, the dumplings>?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by KYC, May 14, 2009.

  1. KYC Senior Member

    Hello, there:
    I saw a test.
    I am wondering if native speakers regard it as plural.
    1.How much _______ the fried noodles?
    (I have no answer but I suspect the answer is are.)
    2. How much_____ the dumplings?( Is dumpling a plural noun or singular uncountable noun?)

    May I have your answer?
    Thanks for your reply!
  2. desert_fox Senior Member

    Both are plural, and 'ARE' is correct for both. The 'S' kinda gives you a clue that both are plural.
  3. KYC Senior Member

    Thanks for your reply! desert_fox! :)
  4. KYC Senior Member

    I am wondering if the answer is is when the question is
    How much _______ the dumpling?
    May I have your answer?
    Thanks a lot!
  5. desert_fox Senior Member

    One dumpling is singular are you would use 'IS'.
  6. KYC Senior Member

    Thanks for your reply! desert_fox!:)

    My last question is :
    One hundred dollars ____ enough to me.
    Is the answer is or are to native speakers?

    Could you please reply to my question?
    Thanks a lot!
  7. desert_fox Senior Member

    That would be 'IS'. I think because it is a single amount.
  8. KYC Senior Member

    Sorry, but I don't get it.
    It's not one dollar but one hundred dollars.---

    So is it always "is" no matter how much money?
    ~ hundred dollars is enough to me.

    May I have your confirmation?
    Thanks a lot!
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    This page might help, KYC.
    The same is true of pounds and other currencies.
  10. KYC Senior Member

    Thanks for your input, Loob!
    It is really helpful.
    Thanks again!:)
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I would have is for the fried noodles. For me this is a singular form because "order" is understood.

    How much is [an order, carton, serving, etc.] of fried noodles.

    Dumplings can go either way for me. It could be "an order of dumplings" or "three dumplings". But I would expect a response like this:

    "The dumplings are $10.00 for an order of 8." or something to that effect.

    I would not expect an answer like this: "They are $1.25 each with a minimum order of 8 dumplings."

    In both cases I think "order" is understood if it is in a restaurant. And as such I would use "is".
  12. KYC Senior Member

    Oh! It's my turn to be confused because your different comments are reasonable.
    May I have more comment?
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I have sympathy with Packard's view that "fried noodles" is a dish, singular, but I think I would still have difficulty saying "How much is the fried noodles".
    I would use "are" for noodles and dumplings.
  14. MichaelW Senior Member

    English (British)
    How much is the fried noodles?

    Possible, but to me it sounds awkward. It might work for, say, a restaurant menu where "fried noodles" is understood as a single "thing", an item on the menu.

    "How much is a plate of the fried noodles?"
    "How much are the fried noodles?"

    where the referent is clearly singular or plural, is more natural.
  15. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    How much is the spaghetti? (Sounds good to me.)

    How much are the spaghetti? (Sounds very, very wrong to me.)

    It is clear that you are not getting a single piece of pasta with tomato sauce. You are getting a plate of spaghetti. I don't see much difference between spaghetti and noodles (except the country of origin).

    But I agree it sounds like is should be "How much are the fried noodles" but only because the "noodles" ends with an "s" and we are used to "are" with words that end with an "s".
  16. MichaelW Senior Member

    English (British)
    How much is the spaghetti?

    Good point - imported words like spaghetti, ravioli, gnocci, don't end in "s" and are heard as singulars in English, despite being plurals in Italian. I think that is why I say "is the spaghetti", not because of the implied "a plate of" spaghetti.

    There have been heated debates about this sort of thing, for instance over the Latin words "datum" (singular) and "data" (plural) back in the 1980s when computers came into popular use. Purists (or pedants depending on your point of view) insisted that one should say "how accurate are the data", not "how accurate is the data". But treating "data" as a singular is now commonplace except in scientific papers and such, because "data" doesn't sound like a plural.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  17. johndot Senior Member

    English - England
    Going from memory I think I’ve always heard people say “How much are the noodles/chips/potatoes/peas/fried onions/peanuts, please?”

    On the other hand (going from memory again) I think I’ve heard on a similar number of occasions “How much is a portion of noodles/chips/potatoes/peas/fried onions/peanuts, please?”

    (Except that it’s a packet of peanuts, of course, but the principle’s the same.)
  18. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ... and the "s" on the end of noodles.
    To pick a different example, "How much is the fried rice?"

    Rice, spaghetti, etc seem to be considered uncountable; even ravioli and gnocchi, which are most definitely countable in reality.
    I think noodles are still countable, however difficult the actual counting might be :)
  19. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I imagine that for spaghetti, ravioli and gnocchi it is because the i doesn't "feel" plural to English natives and we don't have a word for just one of them ("a strand of spaghetti").

    My theory about rice is that there is no ready singular form ("a grain of rice") so we treat it like sugar, coffee, flour and other uncountables.

    On the other hand, we can easily say, "Hey! You dropped a noodle on the floor."

    That's my completely unscientific theory, at any rate.
  20. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Let's stay in Italy for a while.

    How much is the spaghetti?:tick: This sounds right to me.
    How much are the spaghetti?:cross: This sounds wrong to me.

    How much is the spaghetti and sausage? :tick: This sounds right to me.
    How much are the spaghetti and sausage?:cross: This sounds wrong to me.

    How much is the spaghetti and meatballs?:tick: This sounds right to me.
    How much are the spaghetti and meatballs?:tick::tick: This sounds better.

    To me it is the trailing "s" that makes the last example sound "right".
  21. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I agree with Nunty:)
  22. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I expect that in these borderline cases each of us selects singular or plural verb depending on what we are used to hearing and personal sense of the essential singularity or plurality of the dish.
    For me, spaghetti and meatballs is singular, noodles and meatballs are plural.
  23. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    When I'm speaking or e-mailing I just wing along and if it sounds right I'm happy. But then you guys make me think about all this stuff and ruin everything. Now I don't know what is right anymore.

    But to the point: In conversation and e-mails I think that you can loosen up on the finer points of grammar, and ordering in a restaurant is one of those situations where pedants don't belong.

    But I don't know if we've helped KYC or just confused KYC. And in that sense I don't know if this thread has been very successful.
  24. Kazemi

    Kazemi New Member

    English-USA, Michigan
    I would say "are" for both fried noodles and dumplings. If it were a box or plate of dumplings or noodles then I would say "is".

    I would also agree with Nunty.

    I agree with most of what you said, but I would say "are" for the second and third pairs when I'm purchasing them because there is a combination of spaghetti and sausage/meatballs. I might use "is" if I were referring to a dish at a restaurant, but that's probably because I see it as one food once it is prepared. Either way, you'll get the point across.
  25. MichaelW Senior Member

    English (British)
    "How much is the spaghetti and meatballs", because I am thinking of spaghetti (no "s", sounds singular) with a meatball sauce.

    "How much are the meatballs and spaghetti" because I am thinking of plural meatballs plus some spaghetti.

    So it seems to me that whether the main referent (closest to the is/are) is, or sounds like, a singular or plural determines the usage.

    So in the original example, "how much are the fried noodles" because noodles are plural. There is a case for "is" but it is less safe: "are" works every time and "is" is debatable...
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  26. elirlandes

    elirlandes Senior Member

    Dublin & Málaga
    Ireland English
    How much do the noodles cost?
    How much do the dumplings cost?

    Note: verb "to do" is in the plural.

    How much does the spaghetti/gnocchi cost?
    Note - verb "to do" is in the singular

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