Criteria Vs. Criterion – The Common Mistakes Made

I’m pretty sure many of you often use the word “criteria” in your project documents, reports and presentations. What about “criterion”? Do you even know such word exists? Go ahead, do a quick test and ask your colleague about it.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the word “criterion” does exist. It is … (drum roll, please) … the singular form of the word “criteria”! Now, we all know that, whenever we want to use a plural, we just simply add an “s” at the end of the word.  But it is plain wrong to add an “s” to the word “criteria”. Let’s see these common mistakes made and its corresponding corrections:

Mistake 1:

The proposed SLA must meet certain criterias before it can be approved by the APM team.

Correction 1:

The proposed SLA must meet certain criteria before it can be approved by the APM team.

 

Mistake 2:

The main criteria for our successful project is the outstanding support we get from our business sponsors.

Correction 2:

The main criterion for our successful project is the outstanding support we get from our business sponsors.

 

Mistake 3:

To qualify, an applicant must meet all of the following criterias.

Correction 3:

To qualify, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria.

 

Mistake 4:

If the data provided do not match one of the criterias below, the system will not select it for processing.

Correction 4:

If the data provided do not match one of the criteria below, the system will not select it for processing.

 

Mistake 5:

The main criteria for joining the Xen-P project team is the individual’s ability to interpret this set of data within five minutes.

Correction 5:

The main criterion for joining the Xen-P project team is the individual’s ability to interpret this set of data within five minutes.

 

Mistake 6:

Do you know what is the primary criteria to execute this successfully?

Correction 6:

Do you know what is the primary criterion to execute this successfully?

 

Mistake 7:

The selection criterias for job applicants will be tightened.

Correction 7:

The selection criteria for job applicants will be tightened.

 

Mistake 8:

This is the only criteria we need to get the senior management’s approval.

Correction 8:

This is the only criterion we need to get the senior management’s approval.

 

Mistake 9:

Please specify a list of key criterias that we need to achieve this milestone.

Correction 9:

Please specify a list of key criteria that we need to achieve this milestone.

 

Mistake 10:

You must identify one important criteria to make this happen.

Correction 10:

You must identify one important criterion to make this happen.

 

One thing to observe is that English spellings are tricky when it comes to using singular or plural form. So, don’t rush to place an “s” at the end of a word, thinking it will be magically transformed into plural! You might want to check out my other post on Response Vs. Respond.

 

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