Pay attention to detail/details

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French - Canadian
What is the proper expression of the two, or if there is a difference, what is it?

a) I pay attention to detail
b) I pay attention to details
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Usually a speaker will refer to details plural rather than detail singular. Both would be correct usage depending upon the context. If you wrote about Jones, you might say, "Jones is a detail man. Give him a job to finish and he will take care of the details."


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Personally I think number 2 sounds odd, I would always say number one. I can't think of any situation of examples where I would say "I pay attention to details".


    Senior Member
    In 1) "detail" is a mass noun = constituent details regarded as a whole.
    In 2) each "detail" is treated separately, therefore it is countable.
    Last edited:
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