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Several members of the committee have hearing disabilities.

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers,
does the sentence sound natural?
Several members of the committee have hearing disabilities.
Or should I say
Several members of the committee have a hearing disability.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

Buntaro

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Deleted. Let me think about it.
 

hirashin

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I see.
Do you agree with mdchachi?
Do you think you can use either a singular or plural form of "disability"?
 

Buntaro

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Both forms can be used. The plural form sounds better. But I am having a hard time explaining why. This is what I am thinking about.
 

joadbres

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If you want to see a variety of other similar examples, and advice on how to handle such cases, do a web search for "subject-complement agreement".

In this specific case, though, as @mdchachi has pointed out, both sound OK, so you can freely use either one.

English doesn't have a strict rule in such cases, but when in doubt, following subject-complement agreement is a fairly safe choice. In this case, that would result in choosing the first sentence, to match the plural.
 
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