The Singularetantum, also singular word, is a noun, which occurs only in the singular, thus in the singular. The counterpart is the pluraletantum. This means a concept that exists exclusively in the plural, that is, in the plural. The plural of singularetantum is singulariatantum or singularyantum. Examples of such singularity are, for example, fruit, meat or even noise. Examples of the pluraletantum are, for example, the annals or the memoirs.
The term is derived from the Latin words singularis, which can be translated into the singular standing and tantum, which means only together. Consequently, the translation of the word reveals what is at issue here: namely, a thing which occurs only in the singular.
However, such plural formations are usually indirectly possible. Singularity can be combined with other nouns. This is called composites. Thus, for example, the word fruit is a singularity and thus exists exclusively in the singular, but is conceivable in the combination with the word variety in plural and singular (The fruit variety, the fruit varieties …).
Example of a singularity and explanation of indirect plural formation
The above example illustrates the principle described. By combining it with another noun, the singular word becomes the composite of several words. If, therefore, a term is used which allows plural formation, it is thus possible, by an indirect method, to form the majority of a singularity. However, this is not always possible.
Examples of the singulareantum
Concreta (signify object)
the noise, the protection, the fruit, the meat, the snow …
Abstracta (denote non-representational)
the thirst, the hunger, the hatred, the reason, the present, the rest, the excess, the melancholy, the all, the chaos, the nothingness …
Think, Forgive, Run, Forget …
the German, the English, the unforgettable, the impassability …
Gold, silver, iron, helium, neon …
Many nouns with -ness or -ness
Health, darkness, loneliness …
Names of most organizations
Post, telecom, Lufthansa …
There are concepts which, in their fundamental meaning, are clearly a singular word, but also have a secondary sense, which is conceivable both in the singular and in the plural. These words, strictly speaking, are not a singularity.
This applies, for example, to the word “beauty”, which no one really knows. We use it as an abstract term to name the beauty of things or facts. However, beautiful people are also called beauty and these can also be named in the plural (the beauties). The same is true for the noun stupidity.
Short overview: The most important overview
The Singularetantum, also a singular word, is a noun which occurs exclusively in the singular, that is, in the singular. The counterpart here is the pluraletantum. This signifies a concept that exists exclusively in the plural, that is, in the plural.
Although such a singular word can by definition be present only in the singular, there is a possibility to indirectly form a plural: by means of a noun which has a plurality. This is combined with the singular word. One speaks in the grammar of composites (eg Snow → Snowmasses, Foliage → Laubsorten).
In addition, there are words that are actually a singularity, but still have an additional secondary sense that makes a plural formation possible. As an example, the concept of beauty, which does not know a plurality, can be cited. If, however, the term is used as a term for countable, the plural formation is possible (beauties).