Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 2 months ago

Why is the phrase 'natural causes' plural?

Can it be singular?

9 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    If you're talking about the reasons a person dies, it's always "natural causes". That's usually only used when a person is very old, and a number of things have failed, contributing to the death. If there is only one cause, then they name that cause- "he died of heart failure" for example. 

  • Vy
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    The phrase 'natural causes' is plural because of 's' after the word 'cause'. It would be singular only with 'natural cause'

  • 1 month ago

    I believe the plural is used because an autopsy is not usually done when age, or some type of known medical condition, could have caused a number of failures in the body, Narrowing it down to one specifically would require an autopsy. This is only a common sense guess .

  • 1 month ago

    Yes, it can be. "natural cause".

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  • RP
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The reason is causes is plural. 

  • 2 months ago

    It can be singular, but then the specific cause would likely be declared instead. (he died of anatural cause?  Oh yeah? which one? Communicable disease or heart attack or what?)  Natural causes is a way to say that it happened naturally, but what, exactly, happened is not clear.  It is one or perhaps many natural things at work (liver failure, low blood oxygen, poor nutrition, maybe a bit of all of them, we don't actually know; we do know it wasn't murder).  Which one? no real idea.  a few guesses perhaps.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Always plural in the context of an inquest - it is a catch-all phrase meaning there were a number of factors contributing to a death, none of which are suspicious.

  • geezer
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes .. the phrase can be singular.

    Something can happen ''because of natural causes''

    or ''because of a natural cause''.

  • Mark
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The plural is a more accurate reason to use because there are contributing factor(s) that cause a person's death.

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