You’re taking your luggage. Your black suitcase “IS” over here, but your blue suitcases “ARE” over there. But what about the word “luggage” … is luggage singular or plural? Grammatically speaking, how are you supposed to refer to your luggage?
Some words in the English language simply use the same singular word for both the singular and plural usage, like fish, deer, and moose. Sometimes this evolution of usage has to do with historical usage, and other times it has to do with the origin of the word itself.
Personally, I always refer to my luggage as a singular, and it makes more sense to me to refer to my “pieces of luggage” or my “items of luggage” as plural, but as it turns out, “luggage” is correct for both singular and plural usage. In the title’s example, you would almost always say, “Most of the luggage is …”.
Is “Luggage” Plural or Singular?
The English word “luggage” dates back to the late 16th Century, combining the terms lug (“to drag”) with the suffix -age to create a word describing “that which is lugged, and dragged around.” Like the word “baggage,” luggage is considered to be an “uncountable” noun (also known as a “mass noun”), and it does NOT technically have a plural form. Luggage and baggage can be used in countable noun phrases (e.g., “a piece of luggage,” “an item of luggage (or baggage)).
Is Luggage Countable or Uncountable?
“Luggage” is considered to be an “uncountable” noun and does NOT technically have a plural form. Luggage can, however, be used in countable noun phrases, such as “a piece of luggage” or “two pieces of luggage.”
Is “A Lot of Luggage” Correct?
Using the phrase “a lot of luggage” is grammatically correct, as with uncountable nouns, the singular is generally used as a rule of thumb.
What Are Other Examples of Uncountable Nouns?
Uncountable nouns (also known as “mass nouns”) are concepts that are not meant to be divided into separate components–i.e., they cannot be “counted.” Take milk, for example. How do you count milk? Can you have “two milks?” We refer to “gallons of milk” or “bottles of milk” but we don’t count “milk” in and of itself. For uncountable nouns, we use singular verbs (e.g., “this news is very important,” or “your luggage looks heavy”).
Here are some more examples of uncountable nouns:
- Deer. etc.
With uncountable nouns, the indefinite article (a/an) is not used. So no “an information” or “a music.”
But we can refer to:
- A piece of luggage
- A composition of music
- A bottle of water
- A grain of rice (or grains of rice)
We can also use “some,” “any,” “little,” “much,” and “a lot of” with uncountable nouns. For example:
- We’ve got some money.
- Have you had any rice?
- There was a lot of water in the basement.
- Can you carry all that luggage yourself?
- We used just a little electricity.
- She must not have much money.
Is Luggage “Much” or “Many”?
In virtually all contexts, you would refer to luggage or baggage in the singular, and would therefore use, “Do you have much luggage? How much baggage did you bring with you?” To give an idea of more than one item, you would refer to, “Did you bring many bags? Do you have many pieces of luggage to take back with you?”
Is It Ever Correct to Say “Luggages” or “Baggages?”
The English nouns “luggage” and “baggage” will generally use the singular form for both singular and plural contexts. But these two words can occasionally be considered countable in other, specific contexts (e.g., plural: luggages/baggages, e.g. in reference to various types of luggage or baggage, or in reference to a collection of luggage or baggage).
So, Do You Say “Most of the Luggage” Is or Are? (Is “Luggage” Singular or Plural?)
Luggage (along with the term baggage) is almost always considered to be an “uncountable” noun (also, “mass noun”), meaning that the singular form of the word is used as both singular and plural (e.g., “the luggage is…,” “you have a lot of luggage,” “bring all my luggage in,” etc.). Uncountable/mass nouns are typically used conceptually for concepts or ideas that can’t be broken down into individual parts in the reference.
For reference to individual pieces of luggage, you would use just that, “those items of luggage,” or “those pieces of luggage,” or “Grab those three pieces of luggage and leave the rest of the luggage there.” There are rare instances when luggage and baggage can be considered to be “countable” nouns when referring to types of luggage or styles of luggage (e.g., “Those luggages/baggages are more visually appealing than the others”)