Analyses vs. analysis?

The word analysis is a singular noun. The plural form of analysis is analyses.

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What is the difference between analyses and analysis?

If you’re conducting a highly detailed examination of something, you’re completing an analysis. The word analysis is a singular noun, so if you’re running more than one analysis, the correct plural form is analyses

The noun’s tricky singular and plural forms are made more confusing by British and American spelling variants. In the United States, English speakers use the verb “analyze,” while British English speakers spell the word as “analyse.” 

Analyses and analyse are nearly indistinguishable in spelling, but it’s important to remember that they have different grammatical functions. Again, “analyse” is a verb, whileanalyses” is a plural noun. 

How to pronounce analysis, analyses, and analyse?

English speakers pronounce the nouns analysis as “an-al-lye-sis,” analyses as “an-al-lye-seez” (four syllables each). In contrast, we pronounce the verb analyse or analyze as “an-al-lyez” (three syllables). 

What does analysis mean?

The noun analysis derives from the verb analyze (or analyse in British English), which the New American Oxford Dictionary defines as: 

  1. To examine methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of something.
  2. To discover or reveal through examination.
  3. To psychoanalyze someone.
  4. To identify and measure the chemical composition of a sample. 

The noun analysis simply references the product or state of analyzing. For example, 

  • “A new analysis substantiates the link to the city’s lights — with worrying implications for the grasshoppers.” — The New York Times
  • “A 2019 meta-analysis of information retrieval algorithms used in search engines concluded the ‘high-water mark … was actually set in 2009.’” — Science Magazine
  • “Changing the flight paths of just a few aircraft could slash the contribution of contrails to global warming by three-fifths, according to a new analysis.” — Anthropocene Magazine

Synonyms

Anatomizing, anatomy, assay, assessment, breakdown, case study, categorization, classification, diagnosis, deconstruction, dissection, evaluation, examination, exposition, inspection, investigation, scrutiny, study, testing.

Etymology of analysis

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the noun analysis stems from medieval Latin via Greek analusis (‘a dissolving’), from analuein (‘to undo’). 

How to use analysis vs. analyses in a sentence?

The noun analysis is singular, so the plural form is written as analyses.  Let’s compare the two forms in the following examples: 

Example #1

  • We conducted a detailed analysis.” (singular form) 
  • We conducted detailed analyses.” (plural form)

Example #2

  • “Scientists studied specimens in a separate analysis.” (singular form)
  • “Scientists studied specimens in separate analyses.” (plural form)

Example #3

  • Students are required to submit their analysis by midnight.” (singular form)
  • Students are required to submit their analyses by midnight.” (plural form)

Additional reading

If you enjoy learning the differences between American and British English, check out the following lessons by The Word Counter

FAQ: Related to analysis vs. analyses

What’s the difference between analysis and analyzation?

According to Garner’s Modern English Usage, the word analysis is standard over analyzation, which is, technically, not a word at all (Garner 48)

What about analyzer vs. analyzist?

Using the same source, we find that analyzer is a newly coined term for software that examines data patterns and relationships. The word analyzist is a “needless variant” of analyzer (48). 

Test Yourself!

Test how well you understand the difference between analysis vs analyses with the following multiple-choice questions. 

  1. True or false?: A single study is an analysis. 
    a. True
    b. False
  2. The English word ___________ is standard for American English?
    a. Analyzist
    b. Analyzation
    c. Analyze
    d. Analyse
  3. The verb analyze involves the act of ___________.
    a. Methodical examination
    b. Discovery
    c. Psychoanalysis
    d. All of the above
  4. Which of the following is a singular noun?
    a. Analyse
    b. Analyze
    c. Analysis
    d. Analyses
  5. Choose the correct word: “Separate ___________ from the company revealed leaked toxic chemicals in the city’s water system.” 
    a. Analysis
    b. Analyzes
    c. Analyse
    d. Analyses

Answers

  1. A
  2. C
  3. D
  4. C
  5. D

Sources

  1. Analysis.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th ed., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2021. 
  2. “Analyze.” The New Oxford American Dictionary, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 56.
  3. DeWeerdt, S. “One simple trick could cut the climate impact of flying.” Anthropocene Magazine, 18 Feb 2020. 
  4. Garner, B. “Analyst; analyzer; analyzist.” Garner’s Modern American Usage, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 48. 
  5. Sokol, J. “That Night 46 Million Grasshoppers Went to Vegas.” The New York Times, 30 Mar 2021.
  6. Hutson, M. “Eye-catching advances in some AI fields are not real.” Science Magazine, 27 May 2020.