Grammatical number

grammatical category indicating count distinctions

Grammatical number is the way numbers and counting are fitted into sentences.[1]

Most languages have ways to express differences of number.

That apple on the table is fresh.
Those two apples on the table are fresh.

English and other languages use number categories of singular (one) or plural (not one). Other languages do not use number as a grammatical feature.

Advanced sourcesEdit

  • Greenberg, Joseph H 1972. Numeral classifiers and substantival number: problems in the genesis of a linguistic type. Working Papers on Language Universals 9, Stanford University, pp. 1–39.
  • Laycock, Henry 2005. Mass nouns, count nouns and non-count nouns. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Oxford: Elsevier.


  1. "What is Number?", Dictionary of Linguistic Terms, SIL.