Is Outskirts a Plural Noun?

"Outskirts" is a plural noun. Some nouns, like "outskirts", cannot be used in the singular.

"Outskirts" is a plural noun. Some nouns, like "outskirts", cannot be used in the singular.

She lives on the outskirts of Madrid.

She lives on the outskirt of Madrid.

These nouns are known as pluralia tantum (Latin for "plural only"). They take a plural form of a verb, and as a result we say "outskirts are" (not "outskirts is").

The outskirts are the best place to live in Berlin

The outskirts is the best place to live in Berlin

Since the outside part of a city or town has no borders, we use the preposition "on" with "outskirts" (not "in").

The airport is located on the outskirts of the city.

The airport is located in the outskirts of the city.

The term "suburbs", by contrast, take the preposition "in". What's the difference between outskirts and suburbs? Unlike outskirts, suburbs have borders or delimitations. The outskirts of a city might be suburbs, or they might not.

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