The Data Are Versus the Data Is: Which One Is Correct?

Ever wondered whether it’s “the data are” or “the data is”?

According to the OECD’s style guide, the grammatically correct form is “the data are.

This aligns with the idea that “data” comes from the Latin word “datum,” meaning “something given” and is plural.

However, using “data” as a singular noun has become increasingly common, especially in recent years. 

For instance, a Google search for “the data are clear” gives 3,560,000 results, while “the data is clear” returns a whopping 41,400,000 results. 

Even well-known news organisations like The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian favour the singular form.

So, which one to choose?

While “the data are” suits a professional tone, in more casual contexts like blogs or emails, “the data is” is perfectly acceptable.

The decision is yours.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Foto Christine Sparks

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