Learn English – How to distinguish between the singular and plural of “species”


I've been reading a Wikipedia article that describes the symptoms of rabies in various species, and I want to add a clarification note about which species (or species) a specific paragraph refers to. How can I make it clear that I'm referring either to the singular or plural of the word "species" when the singular of this word is the same as its plural? "Species or species" is the only grammatically correct way that I can think of, but it seems redundant and confusing. Is there any better way to contrast the singular of "species" from the plural of "species"?

Best Answer

Since both the singular and plural of species are identical, you need to look to context to establish the distinction you seek. A common way to distinguish is to use adjectives or articles that, by their nature, convey singular or plural.

This virus is known to infect various species of bats. It is especially virulent in that particular species living in this cave, the Little Brown Bat.


The virus infects cave dwelling bats. Those species are at risk. In particular, the Little Brown Bat is susceptible. This species may soon be threatened.

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