Kevin Michael Vail > Text-Pluralize > Text::Pluralize



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Text::Pluralize - simple pluralization routine


        use Text::Pluralize;
        print pluralize("file", $count);
        print pluralize("%d file(s) copied\n"), $count;
        print pluralize("There (was|were) {no|one|%d} error(s)\n", $count);


Text::Pluralize provides a lightweight routine to produce the proper form, singular or plural, of a word or phrase. Its intended purpose is to produce messages for the user, whether error messages or informational messages, without the awkward "1 file(s) copied" appearance.



$string = pluralize($template, $count);

Returns $template customized by $count. $template may contain items matching the following formats:


If $count is equal to one, s1 will appear here; otherwise $pl will appear at this point in the output. Either s1 or pl can be empty.


If $count is not equal to one, the string pl will appear at this point in the output. This is equivalent to (|pl).


This can be generalized. s1 is used if $count is equal to one, s2 if the count is equal to two, and so forth; pl is used for anything greater than the last specific string applied.


With curly braces, the choices start at zero. s0 is used if $count is zero, s1 if it's one, and pl if it's anything else.


As with the parenthesized version, this can be generalized.

If none of the above substitutions appear in $template, it is treated as if it ended in (s).

Once the above substitutions have been applied, the result is examined to see if it contains any % characters. If so, it is used as a format for sprintf, with the count and any other arguments passed to pluralize. This means that if you have a % in your template that is not supposed to be a format character, you must specify %% instead.


In each of the examples below, the first column represents the template, the second column the count, and the third column the result.

        item                            0   items
                                        1   item
                                        2   items

        item(s) need{|s|} attention     0   items need attention
                                        1   item needs attention
                                        2   items need attention

        {No|%d} quer(y|ies) (is|are)    0   No queries are
                                        1   1 query is
                                        2   2 queries are

        {No|One|Two|Three|%d} item(s)   0   No items
                                        1   One item
                                        2   Two items
                                        3   Three items
                                        4   4 items


If the brackets for a substitution don't match up, the one on the left controls what happens.



Initial version


Fix a problem with format strings containing newlines.


Copyright 2007 Kevin Michael Vail, all rights reserved

This library is free software. You may modify and/or redistribute it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Kevin Michael Vail <>

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