cod species

dekow

New Member
Spanish - Spain
I've found this in a press article:

"Cod are a geographically widespread species"

I know that there's no singular word for species as in spanish (my native language), but do you have to use it as a plural ("are") when it really means "a single species" called cod???
 
  • quorumangelorum

    Member
    US, english
    Yes -- the subject of the sentence is "cod", a collective noun; not "species".

    Alternately, they could say "This species is geographically widespread."

    Probably what's confusing you is that it's a plural noun that does not end in "s". Like "women" or... I can't think of others for some reason.
     

    quorumangelorum

    Member
    US, english
    Whoops, sorry it took so long to return. All I can tell you is that I have never, ever heard anyone use "cods" instead of "cod" when referring to a single species. In fact, usually (at least in my experience), people actually say "codfish" more often; but then they're talking about dinner. :)

    Possibly there is more than one distinct species which are commonly referred to as "cod," and then I guess if someone was talking about "all the species known as cods" they would use the "s." In any case, it's still a plural noun, eh?
     

    dekow

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Ok people.

    It sounds strange to me, but I'll have to get used to it... In fact, in the sentece it has the sense of "COD= All the cod() species": This can be a mnemotechnic rule for me.
    Thanks!!
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The point, it seems to me, is that in such sentences the subject needs to agree in number and gender with the complement; people who break this rule cause confusion. The sentence would be better as:

    Cod are widespread.
    The cod is a widespread species.

    I'm reading a depressing book at the moment which gives the lie to this and suggests they are on the verge of extinction.

    P.S. There is a word cods but it has nothing to do with fish. I was pleased to find it towards the end of an ancient biography of Ivan the Terrible of Russia: "The Emperor began grievously to swell in his cods, with which he had most horribly offended above fifty years, boasting of a thousand virgins he had deflowered and thousands of children of his begetting destroyed."
     
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    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    However, I found in my dictionary that both "cod" and "cods" could be used as its plural form. Which usage is more common?
    In the UK we don't use cods (or codfish) much or at all. The plural of cod is cod.

    Cod fall into the category of hunted (or fished) animals, where the plural is often or usually the same as the singular.
    - I went fishing for trout on Tuesday.
    - He was shooting grouse in Buckinghamshire last week.
    - In the 19th century people went on safari to shoot elephant in Africa. (But When we were in Africa we photographed some baby elephants.)
    - This trawler crew mostly takes hake.
    - Cod / Grouse / Elephant / Hake are widespread.
     
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    emci-emci

    Member
    Russian
    Thank you for your explanations, everybody.
    I found "cods" at freedictionary.com.

    Of course, I don't know how reliable this source is. But they give the "-s" plural form of the word.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you for your explanations, everybody.
    I found "cods" at freedictionary.com.
    Of course, I don't know how reliable this source is. But they give the "-s" plural form of the word.
    Trust the free dictionary if you wish, but according to the Oxford English Dictionary, Plural now rare: the collective singular cod being used instead.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I think you'll find that 'cods' refers to 'codpieces', an old fashioned protection for the male genitals and still used on some South Pacific islands. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with fish!
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    I will confirm also that cod is a singular word and it is also plural. You can have one cod for tea or you can fish for cod (a whole net full). Sheep is the same. One sheep or a whole field of sheep.

    And right now, I'm off to count some sheep as it's way past my bed time.

    Goodnight all!!.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I've found this in a press article:

    "Cod are a geographically widespread species"

    I know that there's no singular word for species as in spanish (my native language),
    There certainly is. It is "species". It happens to be the same in form as its plural, but it is hardly unique in that; for example, the word "sheep" can be either a singular or a plural.


    Just as one can say There is one sheep in the barn, one may also say One species of cod lives in this bay.
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, we don't say "fishes" when referring to the creature. "Fishes" is used when saying:

    "He fishes for cod in the autumn"
    Irritatingly the Bible does, sometimes talk about fishes, as the plural of fish, Dimcl. I agree we don't mostly now, except in allegory: it wouldn't be out of place to do so in a translation of La Fontaine.
     
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    emci-emci

    Member
    Russian
    According to Wikipedia there are three separate species of Gadus (Cod): [link]

    And that would explain everything.

    Yes, and, again, they use the plural form of 'cods' there, in the section named: Related species called cod:

    Cod forms part of the common name of many other fish no longer classified in the genus Gadus. Many of these are members of the family Gadidae, and several were formerly classified in genus Gadus; others are members of three related families within the order Gadiformes whose names include the word "cod": the morid cods, Moridae (100 or so species); the eel cods, Muraenolepididae (4 species); and . -

    Oh, will I ever understand this? ))
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    In English, as in Latin, species is both singular and plural, invariable.

    Cods refers to kinds (species) of cod, as breads refers to kinds of bread.

    I use fishes to refer to kinds (species) of fish, and I sometimes use it to refer to finned pets.

    To me, fishes has more personality than fish, which sounds like food.

    I have heard one person being called a "codfish", as a kind of jocular "insult". In that context, I think the plural would be "codfishes" rather than "codfish".
     

    emci-emci

    Member
    Russian
    This is why I love the English language!
    If you're not a native speaker, you'll probably never master it...
    Anyway, I'll do my best to master it to the best possible extent. ))
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    This is why I love the English language!
    If you're not a native speaker, you'll probably never master it...
    Anyway, I'll do my best to master it to the best possible extent. ))
    If you are a native speaker, you will never master it. The best you can hope for is peaceful coexistence.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Exactly your point. As I read it 'If you are a native speaker, you will never master it' implies that only native speakers will not master it.:D
    I was not hearing it that way when I wrote it, but I agree that "even" belongs. (The sentiment remains the same, however. I think most of us would agree that English is never really "mastered".)
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I was not hearing it that way when I wrote it, but I agree that "even" belongs. (The sentiment remains the same, however. I think most of us would agree that English is never really "mastered".)
    I couldn't agree with you more. The best one can hope for is a good "command" of the language and it seems to me that WR is one of the ways to achieve that. From the diversity of the replies and comments one learns something new every day about how native speakers all over the English-speaking world use words and phrases differently in accordance with their own culture and mores.
     
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