Most of the examples are true to the rule; words like advice, equipment, information, knowledge, and traffic are singular although they suggest plurals. On the other hand, let’s take a look at five others that can be singular depending on the context in which they are used:
- The air is better today. But if I think you’re trying too hard to impress me, I may say, “You’re putting on airs.”
- Her art never fails to impress us. But I am likely to say that an actor, a dancer, a musician, a playwright, and a sculptor are in the arts.
- The coffee from Brazil and Colombia is famous. But when I order two cups of coffee for my friend and myself, I may say to the waiter, “Two coffees, please.”
- The water in my town and yours tastes great. But I may warn you about entering a hostile nation’s territorial waters.
- Their work is exceptional. But I may say that I’m reading the collected works of a poet.