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What is the plural of “feedback”? Can you ever use “feedbacks”?
No, there is no plural of “feedback.” It’s an uncountable noun, like “stuff.” You would have to say something like “units of feedback” or “kinds of feedback.”
Sam, you asked a good question: what is the plural of “feedback.”
Hang on because this will be trickyl
Most nouns are nouns of quantity.
One ticket. Two tickets.
One cow. Many cows.
But some are nouns of mass. NOT HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE BUT HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE. Look at these:
We got little feedback the first time but much more feedback the second time.
There was little water in the first flood but more water in the second flood.
We had a pocketful of money at first and then loads of money later.
Words of mass like water, sand, feedback, money, etc. , usually have the same word for the plural. One shows quantity by adding adjectives: much or carloads or very little.
Now, you get the confusion.
Some people who know this rule will break it for a certain effect. I had a very, very rich friend who would talk about his company this way, “You’ve got to know where all your moneys come from.
It’s like using the word “ain’t”. Writers who know it’s incorrect will use it intentionally to give a sentence a kick. “We ain’t tryin’ that again.”
So there are no plurals to nouns of quantity but some writers who know the rule will intentionally break it. “The sands of the Sahara Desert can blind a person.” “Even after the study ended the feedbacks never quit.” “The waters of the world determine life or death on our planet.”
So, Sam, when in doubt with nouns of mass, use the same word for singular or plural. “The money came in from four states.”
“Feedback” is a mass (or non-count, or uncountable) noun. As such, it has no plural form. You can have “some feedback” or “a lot of feedback”, but you can’t have *”two feedbacks”.
Unlike some other common mass nouns (like “water”), “feedback” is a pure mass noun- it has no countable meanings or interpretations. Thus, you can say “two waters”, implicitly referring to “two containers / orders / types of water”, but the same doesn’t work for “feedback”. If you want to pluralize it, you have to attach it to an explicit measure word- “two bunches of feedback”, “two loads of feedback”, “two waves of feedback”, or even just “two pieces of feedback”.
EDIT: Mark Barton‘s answer reminded me of an additional meaning of “feedback” that I had forgotten about. I had in mind “feedback” in the sense of “user feedback” and similar. That sense has no countable interpretations (at least, not in my dialect). When used as a shorthand for “feedback loop”, however, that sense of the word can be implicitly quantified, as in Mark’s example.
Feedback is of itself – it is plural in its meaning
Compare feedback with two similar words: information and advice. All three of these describe content of some sort being transferred between parties.
All three are made discrete by preceding them with a piece of or a similar phrase. However, advice has added a discrete sense, so you can send me an advice in a narrow context. Information does not have such a sense and I expect it never will.
All this preamble to say, I think feedback is in transition towards having both both collective and discrete senses, with the discrete sense meaning …
The plural of feedback is feedback.
In my opinion you could not ever use feedbacks.
Example: Multiple “instances of feedback” not multiple feedbacks”.
You would distinguish more than one feedback with qualifiers like in my example above.
It is used both in a singular and plural sense and never changes its form.
Example: I want your feedback now if possible.
Example: Many people gave me their feedback.
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“Feedback” is a mass noun, like “information,” “knowledge,” and ” interference.” It has no plural. You can say “kinds of feedback,” “sources of feedback,” “instances of feedback,” “pieces of feedback,” and so on.
‘Feedbacks’ would be understandable, and would make sense if a lot of people had given feedbacks that disagreed with each other. But most people would probably find it incorrect.
(Being Southern, I’d say “Thank y’all for all the feedbacks” but not “Thank you all for all the feedbacks”.)
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