“Research,” as a noun, is a plural and singular word. It doesn’t require the same treatment as other nouns to indicate more than one. This is because you can’t put a number on “research” and have it make sense. However, you can add the –es and have it be structurally correct but incorrect in grammar.
While most nouns do require adding either an –es or an –s to indicate plurality, there is a small list of words that don’t need it. “Research” is one of these and it tends to be one of the more confusing of the bunch. Adding an –es to “Research” means you’re using the word in its form as a verb.
What is an Uncountable Noun?
Whenever you want to indicate a group or collection of something but it doesn’t have a numeric association, you will use an uncountable noun. These are often ideas that are obscure or qualities that are abstract in the physical sense. This means the object in question is either too amorphous or minuscule to count in a definable way.
Such words will always be in the singular form that can also have use in the plural. Aside from “Research,” others include “safety,” “knowledge” and “fear.”
Demonstrating “Research” as an Uncountable Noun
“Research” refers to the organized and methodical examination of documents and source materials. This is to accumulate facts for a new understanding or to help one reach a particular conclusion. Such a concept is erroneous and you can’t put a definite number on it.
- Correct: My research shows that hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- Incorrect: My researches show that hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
In the second example, if you read it aloud it doesn’t sound right. While it is technically correct, it is grammatically incorrect. But, let’s try another example that attempts to quantify “Research” as a number.
- Grammatically Correct: There are five researches available per person.
- Incorrect: There are five research available per person.
In this example, although the “correct” version agrees in number with a plural verb, it’s technically incorrect. The “incorrect” example is wrong in context and number.
“Research,” in general,” is an uncountable noun. You can use it without adding the –es. While the –es is possible, it’s not proper grammatical structure.