“Real GDP did not get above its 1929 level until 1936, and it took until 1941 for the unemployment rate to drop back into single digits.”

I wonder why the PLURAL form “digits” comes after “single”, which seems to mean “one”.

“Real GDP did not get above its 1929 level until 1936, and it took until 1941 for the unemployment rate to drop back into single digits.”

I wonder why the PLURAL form “digits” comes after “single”, which seems to mean “one”.

1, 2, 3, …, 8, 9, 0—ARE these single digitS? (I suppose so.)

My 2 cents.

Here it is single digits because the unemployment rate may be 9%, 8%, 5.% … In other words one of many single digits (not just one particular digit). In this situation though, even 4.53% would refer to single digits because the main part of the number is 4.

Also a single digit refers to any number under 10 because it has only one number. Examples:

- triple digits: 245, 137, 898
- double digits: 10, 75, 99
- single digitS: 0, 1, 2, 3… 8, 9

Hope that helps

Michael

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Because “single” is the adjective of the noun “digits.” In English, adjectives go first… Single is not a noun here; it modifies the noun “digits”.

What a clear explanation by @mikebooks: enough to warm the cockles of one’s heart (my digits, alas, remain cold and stiff).

One of the single digits is “1”.

“1” and “2” are single digits.

“1” is a single-digit number.

A single bed, two single beds, three single beds, . . .

There are two single-bed rooms in the house.

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