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Meeting Minutes: Singular or Plural?

The noun meeting minutes is plural, despite minutes seeming to be just one thing...

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Meeting Minutes: Singular or Plural?

The noun meeting minutes is plural, despite minutes seeming to be just one thing.

That's right, even when referring to one document covering one meeting, minutes are still plural.

Meeting Minutes Definition:

A summary or record of what is said or decided at a formal meeting

Why is the word minutes plural?

Minutes is an aggregate noun.

According to the rules of grammar, an aggregate noun which is a single collection made up of individual parts. Each part is considered equally distinct and important, which is why the noun is plural.

(In this case, perhaps even the earliest holders-of-meetings realized each minute of every meeting is precious and time shouldn't be wasted.)

Unlike with a collective noun, an aggregate noun cannot be used with an or a. For example, you do not say "a meeting minutes" although "the meeting minutes" is acceptable.

Examples using meeting minutes in a sentence:

  • With a board meeting, the minutes are a legal record of board activity.
  • The meeting minutes are going to take forever to type because I wrote them by hand first.

If the above examples of treating meeting minutes as a plural noun seem odd to you, here are some other examples of aggregate nouns that are more common:

  • The stairs are slippery.
  • The communications are coming through on a delay.
  • Her bangs are crooked.

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