Criterion vs. Criteria – Learn the correct usage


English, as a language, has a wide range of words which are quite confusing, especially, when it comes to identifying whether it’s a plural or singular form of that specific word?
One of them is criteria and criterion. Let’s understand the meaning and its uses. These both words are partially same in pronunciation and writing as well but have different meaning as their forms matter a lot.


It’s nothing but a standard or set of rules from which other things can be judged. This is the basis for comparison or evaluation, it’s a reference point.
BUT… It’s a singular form of the word ‘Criteria’.
Criterion will always be one.
This is the only criterion and must be fulfilled for getting a membership.

Many people apply it exactly opposite, they understand that ‘Criterion’ is a plural form, and many-a-times they use it so.
You should never go with the following way of using Criteria.
All criterion
These criterion
The criterion are

These all are the misconceptions.


It’s also the standard or set of rules, with referring to the other things taken in considering while doing an evaluation.  It’s similar to the meaning of ‘Criterion’.
BUT... Not Exactly. Because, it’s a Plural Form is ‘Criterion’.
Criteria will always be Many.
These are the criteria, which you have to fulfill for getting an admission in our college.

Many people apply it exactly opposite, they understand that ‘Criteria’ is a singular form, and many-a-times they use it in the following way.

You should never go with the following way of using criteria.
A criteria
Every criteria
This criteria

These all are the misconceptions.

Here, a simple trick of identifying the difference between the two has been given.

Criterion and Criteria

Observe both the words? Did you notice any difference of letters? Those are ‘on’ and ‘a’ respectively.
Keep a thing in mind that:-
‘on’ stands for only i.e. only 1, in simple way the singular form.
‘a’ stands for all i.e. many, in simple way the plural form.

Hope the above explanation has cleared the difference between criterion and criteria. For more English learning and grammar related blogs, browse through our articles. Improve English on the go with the help of our Simple English app. You can also join our online spoken English class and learn the nuances of English.

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