Can "side" be pluralized?

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deslenguada

Senior Member
Castellano
Can "side" be pluralized (meaning they in this case) or it must be treated as singular even if we know we are talking about a group of people?

  • we are on the side of the ones who say/tell the best jokes.
  • we are on the side which says/tells the best jokes.
Do these two sentence work?

Thank you.
 
  • nelliot53

    Senior Member
    Spanish-[PR]; English-[US]
      • we are on the side of the ones who say/tell the best jokes.
      • we are on the side which says/tells the best jokes.
    I don't think you can pluralize it in your sentences, but you certainly can in these ones:

    "I am not taking sides in the controversy."
    "If you take sides then you are being partial."
    Another conjugation, although not plural: "Who are you siding with?"
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Can "side" be pluralized (meaning they in this case) or it must be treated as singular even if we know we are talking about a group of people?

    • we are on the side of the ones who say/tell the best jokes.
    • we are on the side which says/tells the best jokes.
    Do these two sentence work?

    Thank you.
    Grammatically I believe we are always talking about "two sides", so you must be on one side or the other. It doesn't matter how many people are on either side. :)
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Ok so then the verb must be always conjugated as it were singular (I think I didn't express myself properly before) because there are always supossed to be two parts and regardless the number of people. Thank you.
    No I wonder if this sentence:

    we are on the side which says/tells the best jokes.

    could be okays or if it sounds odd (probably) if so there is no way I can say it in plural (that's what I really had to ask..., that's to say -->
    we are on the side which says/tells the best jokes.

    Thank a lot again :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    We are on the side that tells the best jokes.
    - tells you which side we are on.

    Our side tells the best jokes.
    - tells you something about the side we are on.

    Side is singular.
    Although BE often uses collective nouns, such as team, as singular or plural depending on context, I'm having trouble imagining a sentence that uses side as plural.
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    We are on the side that tells the best jokes.
    - tells you which side we are on.

    Our side tells the best jokes.
    - tells you something about the side we are on.

    Side is singular.
    Although BE often uses collective nouns, such as team, as singular or plural depending on context, I'm having trouble imagining a sentence that uses side as plural.
    thank you! and thanks to everybody!
     

    Coyoacan

    Senior Member
    México - Castellano
    Yeah, but Deslenguada: the question you first asked was whether you can pluralize "side". Several issues arise in my head:

    1. Are you somewhat suggesting that in Spanish you would say "estamos de los LADOS de aquellos que cuentan las mejores bromas" [we're on the SIDES of those who tell the best jokes] ??? Cause this just don't even fly in mother language.

    2. You probably knew that SIDE is singular, though one speaks of 2 sides (when collectively describing them both at the same time) yet when one refers to the fact of taking one or the other side, then SIDE is always just singular. Where's the confusion then?

    3. LOS LADOS = THE SIDES [when *sides* is flying solo] There you have your pluralization. Yeah. perfectly fine with me, and I think no one will challenge it. It's just as clear then than when mixed in with a sentence, LADO will emerge and so will SIDE, and the pluralization/conjugation will have to fall on some other element in the sentence. Right? Kinda like what you yourself caught and straightened: say/tell or says/tells...

    Anyway. I'm just too tired right now, perhaps this whole thing I just said is venting on what seems to me a very simple matter...

    Saludos.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Whichever side of the Mobius strip you land on, idiomatic English requires that you tell a joke, and not say a joke.

    Here is a rarity--a BE style use of side as a collective noun, taking a plural verb form.
    ow-No is a game equivalent to Nello in the game for marks. Low-No can only be bid by the dealer and only when the other three players all passed. The declarer's side score 42 points if successful, and the other side score 42 points if the declarer is forced to take a trick.
    http://www.newsome.org/42.html
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Whichever side of the Mobius strip you land on, idiomatic English requires that you tell a joke, and not say a joke.

    Here is a rarity--a BE style use of side as a collective noun, taking a plural verb form.
    http://www.newsome.org/42.html
    That's surprising. I found no indication so far that using "side" as a collective noun with plural is standard, even in BE.

    It's clearly used that way in your example. :eek:

    Gaer
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Side is singular.
    Although BE often uses collective nouns, such as team, as singular or plural depending on context, I'm having trouble imagining a sentence that uses side as plural.
    I am having difficulty in not seeing both sides of this argument. It seems that neither side's view is wrong and that both sides' validity is arguable.
    A sphere has one side but a cube has six sides.
    There are many sides to some arguments.

    .,,
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    That's surprising. I found no indication so far that using "side" as a collective noun with plural is standard, even in BE.

    It's clearly used that way in your example. :eek:

    Gaer

    Yes it's definitely surprising but possible, although odd, I just wondered if it was possible to use at any how and it seems it. ;)


    PS: Why did Coyoacan typed in Spanish when it is an "only English" thread? :confused:
     

    pyan

    Senior Member
    English, UK, London
    Whichever side of the Mobius strip you land on, idiomatic English requires that you tell a joke, and not say a joke.

    Here is a rarity--a BE style use of side as a collective noun, taking a plural verb form.
    http://www.newsome.org/42.html
    Sorry, this is a rare American reference to use of side as a collective noun. The UK mentioned in the website is something to do with sport in the University of Kentucky.

    Treating side as a plural doesn't obscure the meaning.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Actually, we are talking about "side score", but here is another:

    link

    "I think Real Madrid's philosophy now is going to be to go for attacking players and if the other side score three they'll score four. That will make for great entertainment."

    Apparently the same thing happens with "team".

    "Team" or "side" as plural seems to be used now and then on both sides of The Pond, which surprised me. :)

    Gaer
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Sorry, this is a rare American reference to use of side as a collective noun. The UK mentioned in the website is something to do with sport in the University of Kentucky.

    Treating side as a plural doesn't obscure the meaning.
    First, I never made any mention of UK, so your clarification is nice to know, but I don't see it as pertinent to what I had written. I did say it was a "BE style" use of a collective noun.
    Yes, it appears to be American. Yes, it's rare. We agree about it being an uncommon use of side as a plural noun.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    First, I never made any mention of UK, so your clarification is nice to know, but I don't see it as pertinent to what I had written. I did say it was a "BE style" use of a collective noun. :tick:
    This is much like "government". Usually a dictionary such as Oxford online will indicate possible confusion this way:

    • noun 1 treated as sing. or pl. the governing body of a state. 2 the system by which a state or community is governed. 3 the action or manner of governing a state, organization, or people.

    Unfortunately, no such usage note is given with "team", yet Panj has already said:

    Although BE often uses collective nouns, such as team, as singular or plural depending on context, I'm having trouble imagining a sentence that uses side as plural.
    There's the problem. Obviously not all nouns that are treated either as singular or plural are marked as such.

    In the examples we have talking about using "score", "side" seems to be treated the same way as "team". I think we can safely say that even if if "side" may be treated as a plural, it is never necessary to do so in modern English—either AE or BE.

    Gaer
     
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