This has implications for programmatic localization. The example below isn't universally valid if, for some language, the noun placement must change, or the numerical adjective must be split from the noun.

English template:
Search found {adj} {noun}.

English singular:
Search found one record.

English plural:
Search found five records.

We've definitely seen examples of changes in the position of the numerical adjective relative to the noun. Now, what about something like this... is there any language for which the position of the object changes based on number? Or for which the numerical adjective and noun split apart from a cohesize unit? The consequence being, you would actually need separate templates to accommodate grammatical number.

Hypothetical singular:
Search found one record.
With template:
Search found {object}.

Hypothetical plural -- object moved:
Search five records found.
Would require a separate plural template:
Search {object} found.

Hypothetical plural -- object and numerical adjective split:
Search records found ten.
Would require a separate plural template:
Search {object-noun} found {object-adj}.

  • I think (not positive) that some languages with classifiers/counters, which generally don't have grammatical number only use the classifier/counter for numbers greater than one. Oct 8, 2013 at 7:54

2 Answers 2


In Gaelic

  • deich mbliana d'aois - ten years of age (10)
  • aon bhliain déag d'aois - one year (and) ten of age (11)
  • deich mbliana agus fiche d'aois - ten years and twenty of age (30)
  • dhá scór bliain d'aois - two score years of age (40)
  • deich mbliana le cois an dá scór d'aois - ten years as well as the two score of age (50)
  • ceithre scór de bhlianta d'aois - four score of years old

Make sure you write unit tests when programming the above!

  • Oh my, that's glorious. Thanks for the examples!
    – simmbot
    Oct 8, 2013 at 6:22

In Hebrew:

  • רשומה אחת (reshuma 'ahat) = one record
  • שתי רשומות (shtey reshumot) = two records (not to mention special dual forms, [still] used for some nouns in Modern Hebrew)
  • שלוש רשומות (shalosh reshumot) = three records

In other Semitic languages the situation seems to be similar, including Maltese, which utilizes the Latin script.

  • 1
    Yes it is the same in Arabic and other Semitic languages. But this is because the words for "one" and "two" are adjectives, while those for all the other numbers are nouns. Thus you say "man one" but "three of men".
    – fdb
    Dec 8, 2013 at 23:32

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