Hello,

I have seen "noodles" used as plural a lot more often than it used as singular.

I  found 155 examples of "noodles" on COCA but only 18 of "noodle".

On the other hand, "spaghetti " is almost always used as singular.

Both noodles and spaghetti are made of flour.

I don't think they can be counted like an apple or a pen.

They look similar, but why are they grammatically  treated differently ?

apple

 

 

Original Post
@apple posted:

I have seen "noodles" used as plural a lot more often than it used as singular.
I  found 155 examples of "noodles" on COCA but only 18 of "noodle".
On the other hand, "spaghetti " is almost always used as singular.
Both noodles and spaghetti are made of flour.
I don't think they can be counted like an apple or a pen.
They look similar, but why are they grammatically  treated differently ?

Hi, Apple—Etymologically, "spaghetti" is the plural form of "spaghetto" (singular). However, very few English speakers even know about the singular form, let alone use it in speech (see here). In actual English usage, "spaghetti" functions as a mass/noncount noun and, yes, is used with singular verbs.

Spaghetti is a type of noodle. When we wish to use "spaghetti" in a countable way, we do what we do with other noncount nouns; we use the noncount noun with a count noun that denotes units of what the noncount noun refers to, either with an "of"-construction or with an attributive-noun construction—viz.:

  • Spaghetti is good. I like spaghetti.
  • Five pieces of spaghetti are still on the plate.
  • Five spaghetti pieces are still on the plate.
  • Five spaghetti noodles are still on the plate.
  • Five spaghetti strings are still on the plate.
  • Five strings of spaghetti are still on the plate.
Last edited by David, Moderator

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