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Discussion in 'English Only' started by greatumby, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. greatumby New Member

    Hi. I am a newcomer, my name is Umberto and I live in Rome (Italy). I know that the word "AIRCRAFT" does not have the plural form and requires the verb in the plural. My question is: is it correct to say "One aircraft" or should I say "one piece of aircraft" (like in the case of the words "information" or "furniture", "news", etc)?
    Thank you,
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    'Aircraft' is the singular and plural form, and has singular or plural verbs according to its meaning: one aircraft is on the runway; two aircraft are taking off.
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Welcome to the forum. :)

    I'm so glad you've asked about one of my pet peeve words. :D Yes, you can say one aircraft. Or two aircraft. Or many more. There is no "classifier" -- words like "piece" that are used in some languages to help define nouns.

    You also mention information and furniture and news, but we don't generally have classifiers for those, either.
  4. e2efour

    e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 76)
    UK English
    Hi greatumby and welcome to the forum.

    Instead of an aircraft we usually say "a plane" (aircraft being used for several planes). "The aircraft was flying at a height of 40,000 feet" is an example where aircraft sounds ok, although again many people would say plane.

    One aircraft sounds odd to me. I would say (as you can guess from the above) one plane.

    Tip: In Dictionary and thread title search (top of page) type aircraft, and you will see a definition with some examples of how the word is used.
  5. greatumby New Member

    Now I understand. Thank you very much.
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I agree with etb.

    There is a difference between "aircraft" and "information"/"furniture"/"news".

    "Information" "furniture" and "news" are uncountable nouns which are always used with singular verbs.

    "Aircraft" is a countable noun which happens to have the same form in the singular and in the plural - like "sheep".

    So we say one aircraft, two aircraft, in just the same way as we say one sheep, two sheep.


    EDIT: I see you're happy with the answers you've had. But I'll leave this just the same:).

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