Myriad vs. Myriad Of (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use myriad vs. myriad of on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.
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Today's post is one I've wanted to address for a while. I know some people who believe that the word myriad should never be followed the word of. And I know many people use the word myriad with the word of. So who's correct?

(Grammar rules for writers.)

Is it "myriad possibilities?" Or is it "myriad of possibilities?" There is a correct answer to this question, but it may be a bit of a trick question. Because both can be correct and wrong depending on how you use the word "myriad."

So let's look at the possibilities for myriad and myriad of.

Myriad vs Myriad Of - Grammar Rules

Myriad vs. Myriad Of

Myriad is a noun and an adjective. As a noun, it means either 10,000 precisely or a great number generally. As an adjective, it means great in number, countless, or innumerable. So that's pretty easy, right?

(Do writers need to go to college?)

The real question is, "Do I use 'of' after the word 'myriad?'" And the answer is, "Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don't."

When myriad is used as a noun, it is accompanied by "of." When myriad is used as an adjective, there should be no "of" present.

Make sense?

Here are a couple examples:

Correct: There were a myriad of reasons to take a break from class.
Incorrect: There were a myriad reasons to take a break from class.

Correct: She saw myriad possibilities for the new application.
Incorrect: She saw myriad of possibilities for the new application.

For both incorrect examples, a simple fix would be to add or remove the determiner "a." For instance, removing the "a" before "myriad" from the first incorrect example would make it a correct usage. Also, adding an "a" before "myriad" in the second incorrect example would make it correct.

Here's a way to keep them in check: If you want to say "a great number of," then use "a myriad of." If you want to say "many," then use "myriad," without the extra words.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

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