Which of the following sentences is correct:

  • Doing X using ether
  • Doing X using ethers

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Possibly off-topic, but...

I'd speculate that given the number of non-native English speakers in the Ethereum community, and the lack of clarity around English countable/uncountable grammar rules, it doesn't really matter either way.

Having said that, I'd say the uncountable version is more prevalent, regardless of how it's used.

If it were going to follow some grammar rules, then you'd probably expect:

  • If you mean the currency in general, then uncountable: ether. Similar to "I have some money".
  • If you mean a specific value of currency > 1, then countable: ethers. Similar to "I have 10 dollars".

There are examples of it being used in both these ways. As an example, the following (official) page uses both:

How are ethers created?

The total supply of ether and its rate of issuance was decided by the donations gathered on the 2014 presale. The results were roughly:

  • 60 million ether created to contributors of the presale

Note, though, that the above example isn't consistent: the third reference (uncountable, but with a >1 quantity) doesn't match the headline question (countable).

  • Tag grammar already exists anyway. Let's say this question is on-topic. This answer fully covers the usage of the word ether and will be useful for people who are scrupulous about the grammar or in case they are writing some documentation which requires good grammar. For foreign english speakers this answer is useful. Feb 9, 2018 at 21:18
  • Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency on the official site. Cool! Also, I’ve heard satoshis and bitcoins being used. Never “wei” or “shannon”, though. Odd.
    – lungj
    Feb 9, 2018 at 23:42
  • Hi @RomanFrolov - I think the grammar tag was created for questions about the "formal grammar" of programming languages (e.g. Solidity, and the smart contract languages), rather than English grammar. Might be worth asking in Meta if it should cover both? (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_grammar) Feb 11, 2018 at 17:29
  • @RichardHorrocks true. Opened discussion here. Feb 11, 2018 at 18:00

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