intermittent pain/pains [singular or plural?]

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,

I feel intermittent pain/pains today.

Today we seem to have intermittent rain/rains.

Which is idiomatic, singular or plural?

I guess it depends on the context. I think that if you want to stress how pains hurt you, plural pains would be used.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. This singular or plural matter is really interesting. There are indefinite words which we need to think about.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    With the first sentence, if you are suffering several separate pains - separate by location or in time - you could say 'pains'. But you could also lump all the pains into one and refer to it in the singular as 'pain'.

    With the second sentence, you would only say 'rain'. It's always in the singular in this context.
     
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