The English language

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‘A number of people is’ or ‘a number of people are’?

Which is correct: ‘a number of people is’ or ‘a number of people are’ - or are they both acceptable in standard English? Find out.

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Are there any English words with no vowels?

Although most words are made up of both consonants and vowels, there are a handful of words in English that don’t have any vowels at all…

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Can you use ‘when’re’?

Is it incorrect to use 'when're' as an abbreviation of 'when are'? We have consulted our corpus to find out how often the contraction is used.

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Does English have more words than any other language?

Are there more words in English than other languages? It’s a tricky question to answer.

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How many words are there in the English language?

How many words are there in the English language? This question might be much more difficult to answer that you thought. This article explains why.

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How many words begin with ‘x’?

How many words can you think of beginning with the letter ‘x’? What about if they can only be up to eight letters long? (Sorry, that means xylophone is out.)

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Is 'agenda' singular or plural?

Plurals of English words borrowed from Latin can be tricky. Here we explain how to pluralise 'agenda'.

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Is it ‘coloured pencil’ or ‘colour pencil’?

Which one is correct to say: 'coloured pencil' or 'colour pencil'? We have consulted our corpus to find out the answer.

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Is the letter Y a vowel or a consonant?

The letter Y can be used to represent different sounds in different words, so how should it be classified – as a vowel or consonant?

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What are the plurals of ‘octopus’, ‘hippopotamus’, ‘syllabus’?

Some words that end in the letter 's' are difficult to turn into plurals. This page will explain some of the more difficult ones, such as 'octopus'.