Best Answer

Yes, both are Latin-based plurals, and usually when a Latin-based word has -a in the plural, it will take -um in the singlar. Therefore, data/datum and media/medium. However, whereas Latin was a morphologically based language, English is most definitely not or only slightly influenced by morphology, with the end result that our grammar really doesn't understand how to use these words and so makes them decline like English words.

Basically, all of our plurals end in -s, anything without that -s must be in singular so we automatically assume they're singular. This is a natural process of borrowing words and then making them your own. All languages do it (German=downloaden, Russian=komp'uter, Czech=emailovy...even without having studied these words, I'm betting you can understand what each of these words mean), and so I wouldn't worry about using the words datum or medium too much. Just say it however it sounds natural to you. Plus, no one would ever say datum as far as I know. Even in really high academic circles I've maybe heard that word once or twice throughout my life. And medium has lots of different meanings, but as the singular to media, never heard that one.

AnswerSorry, I misread your question. Media can take either singular or plural and as far as I know, both are completely acceptable. Data however has evolved to the point where it is practically an English word, meaning it is a collective singular=singular verbs. "The data says that monkeys are cool." "The data say that monkeys are cool," even though technically correct, sounds so wrong to me that I would advise you to never say or write it. CommentMedia and data are nearly always treated as singular in English. [This is totally wrong in regard to media. Google: "the media continue to", 291,000 finds; "the media continues to", 382,000. On the basis of this, media is apparently more often treated as singular (which is all I wanted to know), but hardly "nearly always" so.] To treat them as plural is precious and rather like waving a little flag inscribed, 'Hey! I studied Latin.' I'd suggest that when writing you give priority to expressing yourself clearly and not to sending irrelvant and distracting messages about yourself. Rebuttal to commentNearly always? The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage lists both nouns as plural, although Lewis Jordan, the editor who revised the style guide, warns against using "media" in "the news sense."

The American Heritage Dictionary states "data" may accept either a singular or plural verb. It lists "media" as the plural of "medium," although the usage note at "medium" acknowledges that some people regard "the media" as a collective noun taking a singular verb. (Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal would agree with that. See my comment in the discussion.)

Either way, I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that the subject nouns are "nearly always treated as singular in English," although that may be the trend.

Footnote:I shall make an appointment with my medium to see if she can find any data on the mattum, er.. matter.


A number of plurals, mostly derived from Latin, do not end in -s. Nevertheless, they are plural and should be treated as such. Words such as criteria, phenomena, memoranda, and media are plural. Their singular forms are criterion, phenomenon, memorandum, and medium.

2011-02-16 13:08:10
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +5 pts
Q: Do the nouns 'media' and 'data' take singular or plural verbs?
Write your answer...

Related Questions

Is has is singular or plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Has is after singular nouns.

Has is plural or singular?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Has is after singular nouns.

Does singular or plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Does is after singular nouns.

Is have is singular or plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Have is after plural nouns.

Is have plural or singular?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Have is after plural nouns.

Is were a singular or a plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Were is after plural nouns.

Is the word has singular or plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Has is after singular nouns.

Is Has-- singular or plural?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Has is after singular nouns.

Is requires a singular or plural verb?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Requires is after singular nouns.

Is the verb reviewed singular or plural?

The verb reviewed is used after both singular and plural nouns.

Is ran a singular or plural verb?

Verbs cannot be singular or plural. Ran comes after singular and plural nouns though.

Can verbs be plural and singular?

Yes verbs can be both. For example "is" is singular and "are" is plural.

When to use loves and love in a sentence?

Simple cases of singular and plural. NOTE that when verbs have singular subjects they take an "s" and that nouns are plural if they have an "s".As verbs:She loves him.They love the water.As nouns:My love went to the town.Their loves answered the letters right away.

What two changes could he make?

Many English verbs can be changed into nouns. Verbs also have their Principal parts. Many nouns (countable nouns) have singular and plural forms. Anyhow, the question is not clear.

Are the verbs What is has and does singular or plural verb forms?

Singular. Plural is: they are, have and do.

What is some nouns are plural in form but singular in meaning therefore takes singular verbs?

words like physics, mathematics, forensics, statistics

If the subject of a sentence is singular is the verb singular or plural?

Singular subjects use singular verbs. This is known as the subject-verb agreement. The confusing part is that "singular" verbs are the ones that will usually have a S, whereas nouns that have an S are usually plural.Subjects and verbs must "agree" with one another in number (singular or plural). Thus, if a subject is singular, its verb must also be singular; if a subject is plural, its verb must also be plural.In the present tense, nouns and verbs form plurals in opposite ways: nouns ADD an s to the singular form; verbs REMOVE the s from the singular form.Examples: The dog chases the car. The dogs chase the car.When dealing with compound subjects, if two or more singular subjects acting as a plural compound subject are joined by the word and then the verb takes the plural form, e.g. The king and Queen are hosting a banquet.If two or more singular subjects acting as a singular compound subject are joined by the words or (or nor) then the verb takes the singular form, e.g. neither the ranger nor the camper sees the bear.

Do plural subjects take verbs with plural endings?

NO, Plural subjects follow verbs with singular endings. while except 'I' all singular subjects follows verbs with plural endings

What is the meaning of singular verbs with inverted subjects?

Use singular verbs with inverted subjects that include singular nouns:

Will singular nouns tale only singular verbs or also plural verbs?

No, they won't. A singular noun takes a verb for singular.Examples:The boss is expected at ten.The bus is late.This dress is my favorite color.Santa Claus is coming to town.

Most singular nouns that end in s take plural verbs?

"The local news are a good source for community events."

Where to use have been and has been?

The verbs 'have been' should be used in case of all first, second person nouns and in case of third person plural nouns. The verbs 'has been' should be used only in case of third person singular nouns such as 'he', 'she' and 'it'.

What words do not have plurals?

Most English words fall into that category. For a start, only nouns and verbs can have a plural form. And many nouns have no plural: think of abstract nouns such as tenuousness and joylessness, for example.Some nouns, such as sheep, take the same form in the plural as in the singular, which is a different thing altogether.

What part of speech joins nouns verbs adjectives adverbs phrases or sentences?

singular or plural or past present future tense

13 rules of subject-verb agreement with 5 example each?

rule 1:a singular subject requires a singular verb rule2:a plural subject requires a plural verb rule3:singular indefinite pronouns take singular verbs rule4:plural indefinite pronouns take plural verbs rule5:a collective noun takes a singular verb when the group it names acts as one single unit rule6:a collective noun takes a plural verb when the group it names acts individually rule7:compound subjects joined by"AND" take plural verbs.However ,when these compound subjects are considered one item or reffer to one person or thing, then it requires a singular verb rule8:compound subjects connected by or,nor,either...or and neither...nor,the verb agrees with the nearer subject. rule9:titles,amounts,and measurmaents take singular verbs rule10:plural nouns preceded by"a number of" take plural verbs rule11:plural nouns preceded by"the number of" take singular verbs