chicken grammer question

Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,335
77
226
Amery, WI WI/MN border
Can you help settle a "heated discussion"?
Can the word chicken be used as a plural? example "how many chicken are you going to get?" or would it be "how many chickens are you going to get?"
Im arguing that chicken can be plural...example "chicken coop"-you don't keep only one chicken in a coop...or if buying chicken=you dont say"Im going to buy chickens for dinner"?....

Anyone?
 

Iowa Roo Mom

Resistance Is Futile
11 Years
Apr 30, 2009
3,924
10
251
Keokuk County
When referring to more than one chicken, the correct term to use is "chickens", i.e. "Save those scraps, we'll give them to the chickens." When in doubt, look at the name of the website "backyardchickens"
 

Criskin

Lost somewhere in a book
10 Years
May 19, 2009
653
12
138
The cabin beside the lake
I agree with Iowa Roo Mom. Good examples for your side but it seems that most dwellings are referred to in the singular even for multiple inhabitants, i.e. a doll house, duck pond or a horse barn.
 

Nic&Chickies

Songster
9 Years
Aug 23, 2010
307
18
166
New Britain, CT
Well, I don't have a dictionary handy, but I am nearly certain that you do need the "s" to make it plural.

In chicken coop, "chicken" is used more as an adjective, as a coop of the chicken kind (I know, I know, what other kind is there, but that's beside the point I'm trying to work on here)

As far as "chicken" as a grocery product, we don't say beefs, or fishes, it's more of a categorical word.

Trying to explain it --the rules--is frustrating, because I am lucky enough to just naturally know how our English language works, but then, trying to convey it ... I get a little weak (maybe that's part of why I never became an English teacher). It is late, and my usual facility with language has escaped me, so I'll have to subscribe to this thread now, and see if anyone else can explain it better. I hope I helped, and didn't just tick you off or make it more complicated.
 

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