Series is an example of a collective noun. Even though a series is singular, it refers to more than one of something. Confused? There’s no need to be. Read on to learn how to use series correctly in your writing.
Series: A Number of Things Occurring in Sequence
We use the word series to describe a group of objects or events one after another.
He had a series of bad relationships.
It was the third in a series of accidents.
Friends is my favorite TV series.
In the first two examples, while series is used in the singular (i.e., a series), the individual things that make up the series are written in the plural (i.e., relationships and accidents).
When you use series (singular) with a verb, you should use the singular form of the verb:
The series of relationships was disastrous.
This series of accidents is alarming.
That series always makes me laugh.
What is the Plural of Series?
Usually, a noun that ends in “s” would be pluralized by adding “es” (e.g., boss / bosses, lens / lenses). But series is an example of a zero plural, which means that the plural form is written the same way as the singular:
We ran four series of experiments.
And when you use series in the plural, you should use the plural form of the verb:
My favorite series are Mr. Mayor and Resident Alien.
Summary: Is “a Series” Singular or Plural?
Series is a collective noun—it always refers to more than one of something. But a series is still singular because it refers to just one series.
Like we noted above, you can have more than one series. But because it’s a zero plural, the spelling for more than one series is the same.
We hope you feel confident about using series and other collective nouns in your written work. You can check out our blog for more help with grammar, spelling, and word choice. And if you’d like any of your writing checked for errors, our proofreaders are always available. You can even send us your first document for free.