Audiences (Plural)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by BriTexan, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. BriTexan Member

    Here's the sentence: "99% of the audiences are foreigners."

    Do we add s on audience in this case or the word itself, w/o adding s, could either be singular or plural depending on its use?

    Thank you.
  2. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Yes, if we are referring to a lot of them and not just one.
  3. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    It can be used but I think it is important to use it in the proper context.

    If there is one performance of something, only "audience" could be used: "99% of the audience here today are foreigners." This would make sense if (roughly) 99 out of 100 people in the audience are foreigners.

    If you are speaking about a show that has nine performances a week and almost every show is given to an audience of foreigners, the plural makes sense: "99% of the audiences are (made up of) foreigners." Somehow this version calls for "made up of", in my mind, because now you are speaking about the audiences rather than the members of the audience. In this case, 99 out of 100 audiences consist completely of foreigners, in my understanding of the phrase.

    Of course, this kind of expression is used as an exaggeration in most settings, so it probably means "most audiences are made up of a majority of foreigners".
  4. BriTexan Member

    Thank you Porteño and James.
  5. jiamajia

    jiamajia Senior Member

    The theatre can hold 3,000 audience.
    The theatre can hold 3,000 audiences.

    Does either 'audience' or 'audiences' work in the given context? Thank you.
  6. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    You could write "The theatre can hold an audience of 3000."

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