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Plural subject singular noun

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Intern
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Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Location: India
Schools: Kellogg '13, ISB, NUS '19
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V42
GPA: 3.5
Plural subject singular noun [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2016, 05:18
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Mobile phones have become an instrument to spread political and social messages.

In the above sentence, when should it be a) Instruments and when b) an instrument.

Please solve the dilemma.
Senior Manager
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Re: Plural subject singular noun [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2016, 15:50
I would say mobile phones is a collective noun, and we would therefore use an instrument in this case.

Instruments would be used if we were to say the following: "Mobile phones are one of many instruments used to spread political messages. Instruments is used in this sentence because we are alluding that there are multiple ways outside of mobile phones that we can spread messages.

Does this make sense?
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Re: Plural subject singular noun [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2017, 03:20
Writing the below statement will also be correct to avoid dilemma.

Mobile phone has become an instrument to spread political and social messages.
Re: Plural subject singular noun   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2017, 03:20
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Plural subject singular noun

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