Today’s topic is an issue that tends to crops up in our content. What is the difference between damage and damages?
Damage is a grammatically singular, mass/noncount noun. Per Merriam-Webster, it means “loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation.” It doesn’t matter how much damage there is, it’s always grammatically singular. An example would read as “Hail can cause significant damage to your roof.”
Damages is a grammatically plural noun that shouldn’t be used in the singular. Again, Merriam-Webster phrases it as “compensation in money imposed by law for loss or injury.” Here’s a correct way to use this word: “If you were injured in a car accident, you can sue for damages.”
Writers often use damages when they mean damage. If it isn’t a personal injury blog and they aren’t referring to money, they’re likely using it incorrectly. Our reviewers tend to count this as minor errors each time they find it. However, understanding the difference can help you avoid getting dinged for minor stuff and hopefully get higher ratings.
So that’s the basics of damage vs. damages. If you’d like more posts like these to improve your future ratings, let us know. Until then, check out our past Grammar Time posts or our Content Creator Basics series. ‘Til next time!