1. Zumara Junior Member

    Montreal
    French - Canada/France
    Hello,

    is it fine to have 'literature' in the plural in this sentence: "In what follows we illustrate how this dual characterization is at work in the literatures on both problems."? I found that indeed 'literature' can be used in the plural when it refers to 'creative writing', but can it also be when it refers to 'published writings'?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mdb Senior Member

    Manchester, UK.
    UK English
    No i would leave it in the singular because "on both problems" makes it clear that it refers to more than one thing.
     
  3. livvie Senior Member

    Bretagne
    Gibraltar, English
    Hello,

    Literature is a "body of work" and can be plural or singular, but always uses the singular form of a verb.
     
  4. Quaeitur

    Quaeitur Mod'elle

    Lille, France
    French
    Hello Zumara :)

    We need your original sentence in French ;)
     
  5. guillaumedemanzac Senior Member

    English - standard UK variety
    Why do you say the literatures? Do you really mean two separate sets of cultural literature? French and English = The different literatures of the two countries show that ..........
    Do you mean: in Literature (generally) dual characterisation is at work in many ways.
    In special subjects, we can say: the literature on medical infarcts tells us that .....
    Your text doesn't make it clear what the different litteratures are; nor does it tell us what the problems (both of them) are.
    guillaume
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  6. djmc Senior Member

    France
    English - United Kingdom
    One may have two subjects of interest; say Greek Philosophy and statistics. If I am writing on a subject which impinges on both for instance a statistical analysis of Plato's vocabulary and I am trying to relate this to Plato's ontology, I might say something like "The literatures on both topics" since there is very little intersection between the two which is present in books and journals.
     

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