Skip to main content
Support - EBSCO Help

Single vs. Plural Searching

In order to provide the most comprehensive search results, when you conduct a search, you may get results that include both the singular and plural versions of your search terms.

Searching for Singular, Plural, and Possessive Words

When a singular word is searched, the plural and possessive forms of that word will also be searched. However, if the word is enclosed in quotation marks, plural and possessive forms will not be searched.

For example, a search for the phrase alley cat without quotation marks could also search for all of the following:

alley cat, alley cat’s, alley cats, alley's cat, alley’s cat’s, alley’s cats, alleys cat, alleys cat's, alleys cats

However, when a plural word is searched, the search engine will automatically search for the singular version of the term. If the plural word is spelled differently, (e.g. child, children), a search is not expanded unless the "Apply additional terms to query" expander is checked. You may also get results with regional spellings (e.g., color, colour), acronyms (e.g., TV, T.V.) as well as a limited number of synonyms.