Is “news” singular or plural?

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Is the word news singular or plural in English? Should we say the news is good or the news are good? This news or these news?

Today I’ll answer this question as well as help you avoid a common mistake that English learners often make with “news.”

The word “news” is a noun. In English, it is considered singular and uncountable.

So we use the singular forms of verbs, like is and was: the news is on channel 5, the news was surprising. Don’t use are or were.

We say this news (not these news) and that news (not those news).

Don’t say “a news”

But a more common mistake is saying “a news.” With uncountable nouns, we never use a or an.

So don’t say, “I heard a good news” – this might be possible in your native language, but in English you should say “I heard some good news.”

So if the word news is singular and uncountable, how can we talk about more than one piece of news? Well, that’s one possibility – use the word “piece” or “bit” – for example, “I have three pieces/bits of bad news for you” if you want to talk about three distinct topics.

We could also talk about “items of news” or sometimes “news stories” – the term news stories is often used when referring to news you see on TV or read articles about.

Finally, never say “many news” – the word “many” can only be used with countable nouns. Instead, you can use “much” or “a lot of / lots of” – for example, “there wasn’t much news over the weekend” or “I have lots of news to tell you!”

Got it?

Review: News is singular and uncountable

  • Say “some news” or “a piece of news” (not “a news”)
  • Say “the news is/was” (not “the news are/were”)
  • Say “this/that news” (not “these/those news”)
  • Say “a lot of / lots of news” (not “many news”)

Learn more: Irregular plural nouns