Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Data

Data was handled... Data were handled...

I have forgotten the proper verb conjucation with “Data” vs “Datum”

Submit Your Comment

or fill in the name and email fields below:

Comments

I guess there are no strict rules about this.
Google search shows 12.000.000 matches for "data was" and 16.000.000 matches for "data were".

In Latin, "data" (plural) is a collection of "datum" (singular). But nobody uses the word "datum" in modern English.

Ed1 Oct-29-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

data is plural. the data are supporting my hypothesis.

effyourself Oct-30-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

Data is a non-countable noun, like food.

You don't say "All the food were great at the buffet."

Jon2 Oct-30-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

It's slightly sad that what was once wrong is now acceptable. Data is plural, but since no one knows that anymore, it's become okay to treat it as if it were something else. No one says "I have two data" anymore, even though that's perfectly correct. They would say "I have two data points."

It's like using "they" as the genderless version of "he" or "she".

Lia Oct-31-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

Jon: food (and linen, cutlery etc.) is a collective noun and has no singular form - unlike data.

Data is the plural of datum (L, 2nd declension) and should be used as such.

But we should distinguish use in computing (and related disciplines) where it is strictly a singular noun (by overwhelming preponderance of evidence).

Since 'data' is less and less frequently used outside the field of computing, though, 'datum' will likely disappear from use altogether and 'data' will finally become a true collective noun.
But I don't think we're quite there yet.

[Interestingly, 'agenda' (sing. agendum) took the other path and became a true singular noun.]

Fowlerfan Nov-04-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

I admit to a fondness for "the data are", but then I have a fondness for "the media are". Both were indisputably the correct form in the past, but I think this battle's completely lost (at least in American English; not sure about the British form). I'd go so far as to say that "the data are" (just like "the media are") has a vaguely quaint and obsolete sound to it.

Avrom Nov-14-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

It matters not one iota what the plural or singular forms are in another language. When a word is borrowed it doesn't come with rules attached. The rules that guide are those of the "new" language.

Studies show that both 'is' and 'are' are used with about the same frequency.

DBP Nov-27-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse

Data is generally an uncountable noun.

"water was drunk"
"data was handled"

Harry1 Nov-30-2005

0 vote   Permalink   Report Abuse