Is "Agenda" Singular or Plural?

by Craig Shrives

Should I write "agenda is" or "agenda are"?

"Agenda" is singular. The plural of "agenda" is "agendas."

The Quick Answer

Even though "agenda" is the plural of the word "agendum," the word "agenda" is treated as singular nowadays. For the plural, use "agendas."

More about "Agenda"

"Agenda" is the Latin plural of the word "agendum." However, nowadays, "agenda" is not treated as a plural word.

Over time, the word "agenda" has shed all signs of its plural past. In modern English, it is treated as a singular word with the plural form "agendas." (The word "agenda" means "a list of items of business to be considered or addressed." Just like the word "list," it ought to be treated as singular.)
agenda is or agenda are? (singular or plural?)

Example Sentences with "Agenda" and "Agendas"

Here are some examples of "agenda" being used as a singular noun and "agendas" being used as its plural form.
  • The agenda is on the second page. correct tick
  • All the agendas are displayed on the screen. correct tick
  • Feminism's agenda is basic: It asks that women not be forced to choose between public justice and private happiness. correct tick(Journalist Susan Faludi)
  • There is a hidden agenda in the fragility of romance. correct tick (Fashion designer Alexander McQueen)

Why Is "Agenda" Singular?

An agenda is a list, which is a singular concept. Also, ever since the removal of Latin from the national curriculum, the protection for "agenda" as a plural word has been thinning. So, with the sense of a singular word and no protection to retains its plural status, "agenda" has morphed into a singular word.

"Agenda" is similar to media, which has also shed its plural status. It is also similar to criteria, but "criteria" has retained some of its plural status because "criterion" (the singular form) is still used. Data is another word following the same route as "agenda." "Data" too now carries the sense of a singular word ("a collection of datums" rather than "lots of datums") and its plural protection has been thinning for decades. Read more about "singular" as a grammatical concept. Read more about "plural" as a grammatical concept.

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