When we talk about “kind of” things, we might have to use the singular or plural forms. Most of the rules come down to countable and uncountable nouns, which can get incredibly confusing. We’ll explain everything we can about how nouns interact with “kind of.”
Are “Kind Of” And “Kinds Of” Followed By Singular Or Plural?
“Kind of” can be followed by a singular or plural form when using a countable noun. We can say “kind of thing” or “kind of things,” accordingly. “Kinds of” almost always has to be followed by a plural form unless we’re using uncountable nouns that do not have plural forms.
Let’s replace “thing” with “apple” to help you understand how we might use the different variations:
- One kind of apple (there is only one type of apple present)
- Two kinds of apple (two different types of apple are present)
- Three kinds of apples (three different types of apples are present)
- Which kind of apples would you prefer?
“Apple” is not uncountable, so we cannot use “kind of” with the plural form “apples” in the usual sense. Instead, we have to word it as a question format to find out which type of a group of different apples someone might like.
Incidentally, if we are using uncountable nouns, we can use “kind” and “kinds” with them synonymously.
- One kind of information
- Two kinds of information
As you can see, “information” is uncountable, and the singular and plural forms are identical.
Kind Of Thing
It might help to look at the four different types closer. That should help you to get your head around it.
“Kind of thing” is simple because it uses the singular of “kind” and the singular of “thing.” We can use this form to show that there is only one kind of thing being spoken about, and no other types are present in our writing.
It’s helpful to remember that the singularity of a noun should match another when writing about two. Therefore, since “kind” and “thing” are both singular, it makes a lot of sense to use this form.
Perhaps the following examples will help you with it:
- This isn’t really my kind of thing because I don’t agree with any of the practices.
- The kind of lettuce I’ve got in my salad isn’t the same kind that most other people would choose.
- I don’t like this kind of music, but I’m glad that you’ve found a way to enjoy yourself with it.
- It’s not my kind of coffee, but I’ll still drink it. I’m glad you made it for me.
Kind Of Things
“Kind of things” is much harder to use. It works best when we are presenting someone with a question. We might ask them to select a “kind” that they would like from a collective of multiple different “things.” Uncountable nouns also apply here.
The best way to see “kind of things” works is in a question format. As long as you know what you’re asking when you use it in this way, you’ll have a much better time with it.
Here are some questions to help you with it:
- Which kind of potatoes do you think you’d like to choose from this bag?
- What kind of apples do you think will be the nicest from this bunch?
- Which kind of chairs do you think would suit your room the nicest?
- What kind of beers do you want to get in for the festival tonight?
Kinds Of Thing
“Kinds of thing” works when there are multiple different kinds of the same thing on offer. It also works best when dealing with uncountable nouns since we can match the plural form of “kinds” with the uncountable form, whether singular or plural.
Here are some examples that will help you understand it:
- The kinds of potato I’ve got in this salad vary based on what I fancy on the day.
- The kinds of information you’ve shared with us are not very relevant, but we appreciate it nonetheless.
- These are the kinds of music I need to get used to listening to! I think they’re a lot of fun.
- These are the kinds of paper that I would usually do my art on, but I’m not sure they will work right now.
Kinds Of Things
“Kinds of things” is another easy form that makes a lot of sense. It’s much easier to match the pluralization of nouns when they’re used in this way. Since “kinds” and “things” are both plurals here, it makes sense that this form should be an easy one to figure out.
Of course, this form only applies to countable nouns. Since we cannot use a plural form for uncountable nouns, it would not make sense for us to add an “-s” to the end of something like “information.”
Check these examples out to help you understand more about it:
- The kinds of apples that I live for are the ones I’ve got here with me.
- These are the kinds of things that I appreciate, and I’m so glad you are here with me.
- The kinds of gifts he gets me for my birthday aren’t exactly thoughtful.
- You are not the kinds of friends that I thought I would keep, but I’m glad you’re in my life!
Are “Kind Of” And “Kinds Of” Mostly Followed By Singular Or Plural?
Finally, it might help to see which is the most common formation. This should help to explain which form you’re more likely to use (and which one you should spend more time studying).
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “kind of thing” is by far the most popular choice (singular followed by singular). You can also see that the plural form “kinds of things” is the next most popular choice, meaning that it’s more appropriate to match the state of the nouns.
You may also like:
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.