Lyrics (Plural?)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Fabiola79, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Fabiola79

    Fabiola79 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Hi,

    I've got 2 questions.

    Is 'lyrics' ( words of a song ) a noun in plural or in singular ?
    Can we say 'a lyrics' for indefinite single lyrics ?

    Thank you for your answer
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  2. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    Lyrics are always seen as plural, in my opinion. The 'lyrics' means 'the words'/'the lines'/'the stanzas' which are always plural. 'Lyrics' are always a series of more than one 'lyric'. So it is of course plural. :)
    You would not say 'a lyrics' but you could say 'a lyric'/'the lyric'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Lyric can be used in the singular and (more commonly) in the plural: lyric and lyrics are the same, i.e. the words of a song - all of them or some of them.

    Thus you can say:

    "The lyric of the Polish national anthem speaks of a country that is not yet lost"
    and
    "The lyrics of the Polish national anthem speak of a country that is not yet lost"

    and

    "The lyric, "Bonaparte has given us the example," in the Polish national anthem refers to Napoleon Bonaparte."
    and
    "The lyrics, "Bonaparte has given us the example," in the Polish national anthem refer to Napoleon Bonaparte."
     
  4. Alby84 Senior Member

    Boston
    American English
    Although "lyric" is possible, I'd say it's used in the plural 95% of the time. The only time I tend to use it in the singular is if I'm picking out a single line of text from a set of lyrics, and even then, I'd most likely refer to it as a "line." As Hau said, "a lyrics" is not possible.
     
  5. Fabiola79

    Fabiola79 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thus, 'lyrics' is only plural ? Am I right ?
     
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Yes, or more correctly, lyrics is the plural of lyric and both lyric and lyrics are used synonymously."
     
  7. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    Correct, Fabiola. <<Comment deleted.>>

    I hope that all the confusion has been cleared up for you and that your original question has been answered.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013

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