“Matter” and “matters” are very interesting noun and verb forms. They almost seem to go against the normal and expected English rules that you might associate with singular and plural forms. This article will explain where some of the confusion might come from when using them.
Matter or Matters – Which is Correct?
“Matter” is correct when used as a singular noun. As a verb, it is correct when the first-person singular and plural pronouns forms are used. “Matters” is the plural noun. When it is a verb, “matters” only works with the third-person singular form.
A lot of the confusion tends to come from the noun forms of the two words. In many cases, plural nouns have an “-s” extension on the end of the singular form. The issue is that most people seem to confuse the verb form of “matter” with the noun form.
As a verb, it can look like this:
- This is what matters the most here.
- These are what matter the most.
As you can see, when “this” is used, the singular is present. “Matters” is used because it represents the singular form.
“These” is used when the plural is present in the sentence. This time, “matter” is used (and the “-s” is dropped). That’s why people can often be confused about the usage of the two.
The noun form is more obvious. “Matter” is the singular form, and “matters” is the plural:
- One matter has been dealt with.
- Two matters will be fixed going forward.
When to Use “Matter”
“Matter” is correct as a singular noun form or when you are working with first-person singular or plural pronouns. It’s common to use “matter” when referring to a singular issue (as a noun). As a verb, it’s better to use pronouns like “I” and “we.”
If you want to know how to use “matter” in a sentence, you can refer to the following:
- I need you to know that you matter. It’s not good enough to let you believe that you’re not important to any of us.
- You matter a great deal to all of us! We want you to understand that before you start to complain again.
- I think the matter has already been handled. I really don’t see why we will have to go through all of this again.
- It’s a matter of opinion, and I don’t really have the time to run you through it any more than we already have done.
- What’s the matter with him? I thought everything was going okay, but he seemed to be so grumpy.
- I matter more than I realized at first. I had no idea I was going to have such a profound impact on the way these things went.
- Why do you think you don’t matter? That’s such a sad thing to say! You know that you’ve got people in your corner!
When to Use “Matters”
“Matters” is the plural noun form, meaning that multiple issues are being referred to in a sentence. You can also use it as a verb when the third-person singular form is used. Pronouns like “it” and “she” are great ways of showing how this might work.
Here are a few good examples to show you how to use “matters” in a sentence:
- He matters a lot to me. I wish I had the courage to tell him, but I’ve always been worried about what he might say.
- The matters have all been dealt with accordingly. You shouldn’t have to worry about any of them going forward from here.
- What matters are you referring to? I’m sure I haven’t heard about any of these things from the people I work with.
- I’m not sure if this matters, but I have a few ideas that might be able to get our company rolling in the money again!
- She matters to me, and I want to tell her! I just wish she’d come back to school soon before it’s too late.
- This issue is what matters the most right now. It’s no good sitting on this for too long. Something could easily go wrong.
- Matters like these are worth fighting for! I’m always excited to see whether I can solve the problems.
Is “Matter” Singular or Plural?
When “matter” is used as a noun, it is always the singular form. It is only ever correct in this format because it does not include the “-s.” The “-s” at the end of “matters” is only present when the plural noun form is used. “Matter” refers to one issue.
You Are All That Matter or Matters?
“You are all that matters” is the only correct way of writing this. “All that matters” is appropriate because it refers to the third-person singular form of “that.” “You are all that matter” is grammatically incorrect, and you should not use it.
- Correct: You are all that matters to me now.
- Incorrect: You are all that matter to me, and you are all that ever will.
It’s All That Matter or Matters?
“It’s all that matters” is the only correct form. “It’s” is the third-person singular form, meaning that “matters” is the correct verb form. “It’s all that matter is incorrect” because “matter” is the wrong verb form.
The same rules apply if “that” is used. “That’s all that matters” is correct, but “that’s all that matter” is not.
- Correct: It’s all that matters right now, okay?
- Incorrect: It’s all that matter. I won’t say more about it.
Both Matter or Matters?
“Both matter” is correct when “both” is treated as a pronoun. You can use it in this way to refer to two people “mattering” to you (or someone else). “Both matters” is correct when the plural noun form is used. It is synonymous with saying “both issues” or “both problems.”
- Verb: Both matter a great deal to me.
- Noun: Both matters have been sorted.
It Doesn’t Matter or Matters?
“It doesn’t matter” is the only correct form. Here, “does not” is used as an auxiliary verb form so that “matter” can be used in the infinitive form. “It doesn’t matters” is never correct because “doesn’t” cannot work with the third-person singular form of “matter.”
- Correct: It doesn’t matter anymore, does it?
- Incorrect: It’s doesn’t matters. Why are we talking about it?
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.