Temperature or temperatures: meaning — Temperature vs Temperatures

meaning — Temperature vs Temperatures


4 years ago

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What is the explanation for the following sentence being written as it is:

The newborn baby was discovered by passing cyclists on a day when temperatures surpassed 40 degrees Celsius.

The singular temperature sounds much better to me while temperatures sounds a little odd. There is only one temperature — it can be either high or low, rising to 30, 40, 50 degrees or decreasing to -20, -30, etc. In which context should one use temperatures?

  • meaning
  • word-choice
  • grammatical-number


When you’re talking about multiple readings of the thermometer: «With temperatures in the 90s this week, people should take precautions against heat exhaustion. » 91° on Monday, 93° on Tuesday, 90° on Wednesday — multiple readings, so temperatures plural.

(For those who speak Celsius, that’s 32° — 37°.)

In your example, during the day of the cycling and baby-finding the temperature changed.


News reports often use temperatures in place of temperature measurements, i.e. as a shorthand for official temperature measurements from an unspecified number of regional/national weather stations. The journalist clearly didn’t have a report of the temperature at that specific place and time.

A noun may have several distinct meanings in English language depending on the context. As a result, a noun can be plural or singular (and also countable or uncountable) depending on the intended meaning:

It is possible to use temperature as an uncountable, noun meaning
‘degree/intesity of heat’,

  • The temperatures in Paris and Berlin reached record heights yesterday.

When we use it countably, we think more of individual figures. When «temperature» means «a temperature reading/value» (also true for «pressure»), then it is countable.

  • The temperature dropped to minus one degrees.

Usage examples-

  • When the temperature cools, people settle outside to watch the great show of daily life as if it were a television series.
    (New York Times, Jun 19, 2015)
  • They hide themselves in the landing gear where they are exposed to the elements and have to endure plummeting temperatures.
    (The Guardian,Jun 19, 2015)
  • Suppose you added equal amounts of heat to equal masses of iron and
    aluminum. How do you think their temperatures would change? (wiki)
  • The newborn baby was discovered by passing cyclists on a day when the temperature surpassed 40 degrees Celsius. (OP)

Usage notes-

You can use temperature single or plural with preposition. ( temperature or temperatures of ). .
The singular form is usually precededed by the definite article. (the temperature)

I’d say that temperature is a single reading on a thermometer, but when you are referring to an overall weather in an area it is perfectly fine to use temperatures. In fact it makes more sense.


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temperature | meaning of temperature in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary EnglishRelated topics: Temperaturetemperaturetem‧pera‧ture /ˈtemprətʃə $ -ər/ ●●● S2 W2 noun
 1 [countable, uncountable]TMT a measure of how hot or cold a place or thing is
 The temperature of the water was just right for swimming.
 Water boils at a temperature of 100ºC.2 → somebody’s temperature3 → have a temperature4 [countable]SITUATION the temperature of a situation is the way people are reacting, for example whether they are behaving angrily or calmly
 The referee’s decision to give a penalty raised the temperature of the match.COLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + temperaturehighAt high temperatures water is not able to hold as much oxygen.lowTemperatures were so low most plants could not survive.constantThe temperature of the room is kept constant.extreme temperaturesThe material has to be able to withstand extreme temperatures.sub-zero temperaturesThey spent six hours on the mountain in sub-zero temperatures.the air/water temperatureThe water temperature should be between 60 and 65°F.somebody’s body temperatureHis body temperature was high and he was dehydrated.phrasesa rise in temperature/a temperature riseThe result was a rise in the Earth’s temperature.a drop/fall in temperatureAt night there is a dramatic drop in temperature. a change in temperatureThe oil is affected by changes in temperature.at room temperatureStore the wine at room temperature.verbsthe temperature risesThe temperature rose steadily throughout the morning.the temperature soars (=rises quickly to a high level)In summer the temperature can soar to over 40°C (104°F).the temperature falls/dropsLast winter, the temperature fell below freezing on only five days.raise the temperatureThe thermostat allows you to raise the temperature.lower the temperatureParacetomol lowers your body temperature.Examples from the Corpustemperature• Temperatures in the south of the country reached 30 degrees centigrade.• The gas freezes at a temperature of 180C.• The greenhouse is kept at a constant temperature of 40C.• This was done by reacting the silver in the alloy with salt at high temperatures, leaving the gold unaffected.• Steel is produced at very high temperatures.• Professional film is stored at a low temperature to prevent it from deteriorating.• Season buffalo steaks with salt and pepper to taste and let them rest for 1 hour at room temperature. • The wine can be served at room temperature.• In the eastern Pyrenees the high summer temperature can be oppressive.• It was sunny, but the temperature was well below zero.• The law only holds under certain conditions: The temperature must be constant.• The temperature sunk near zero and stayed that way for weeks.• The temperature is expected to go down below freezing during the night.• The temperature of the water was just right for swimming.• The temperature of the world’s oceans has risen by more than 2 degrees in the past hundred years.• All osmotic pressure measurements are extremely sensitive to temperature and must be carried out under rigorously controlled temperature conditions.• The change in water temperatures that drives the weather can be as little as one or two degrees, Ellis said.• You feel very hot — let me take your temperature.Origin temperature (1400-1500) Latin temperatura “mixture”, from temperare; → TEMPER2



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I have 36.5 again. Body temperature 35.5 in an adult is the reason and what to do? Low body temperature.

There is no such person who would not measure the temperature of his body at least once in his life. And it is right. After all, temperature is a complex indicator of the thermal state of the entire human body.

There is an opinion that a temperature of 36.6 is normal for a person. However, this is not a completely correct statement. Indeed, this temperature is the most optimal for biochemical processes occurring in the body. But each person is individual, so it is possible to consider a normal temperature from 36 to 37.4 ° C.

The body temperature of one person can change throughout the day. The lowest temperature is observed around 6 o’clock in the morning, and the maximum value is reached in the evening. The difference between body temperature early in the morning and in the evening reaches 0. 5 — 1.0 °C. However, this does not depend on human activity, the temperature follows the daily cycle of the Sun. Thus, people who work at night and sleep during the day show the same temperature cycle as the rest.

Temperature is also affected by gender and age. In girls, body temperature stabilizes by the age of 13-14, and in boys — by 18 years. The average body temperature of men is about 0.5 — 0.7 °C lower than that of women. Temperature readings in women are affected by the phases of the menstrual cycle.

Temperature differences between internal organs were revealed. The highest temperature of the liver (39 ° C), slightly lower — the temperature of the stomach, kidneys and other internal organs.

Why is the temperature rising?

As a rule, the temperature rises with the onset of the disease, as indicated by other symptoms of the presence of the disease. An elevated temperature is considered to be from 37.5 ° C to 42 ° C. With an increase in body temperature for every degree Celsius above 37 ° C, the frequency of respiratory movements increases by 4 breaths, and the pulse also increases. With an increase in body temperature, it is necessary to call a doctor to find out the possible cause of hyperthermia. An increase in temperature above 41 ° C is a reason for immediate hospitalization. The critical body temperature is considered to be 42 ° C, when it occurs a metabolic disorder in the brain tissues.

Why is the temperature dropping?

Sometimes the body temperature drops. This may indicate an existing or developing disease inside the body. Low body temperature is considered to be a temperature equal to 35.5 ° C and below. The main reason for low temperatures is hypothermia. However, if such a temperature persists for a long time, then this may indicate various diseases or a period of their exacerbation. Only a doctor can identify the true cause and prescribe treatment. A decrease in body temperature to 32 ° C causes chills, but does not pose a very serious danger. Temperatures below 25 ° C are critical, but some people manage to survive at such temperatures.

Constantly elevated temperature

Sometimes a person has a constant or intermittent fever up to 37.5 ° C without any other symptoms of the disease. This temperature is called subfebrile. Due to the fact that very often low-grade fever is within the physiological norm and there are no other symptoms except for the “elevated” temperature, determining the causes of this condition is extremely difficult and time-consuming.

Usually, a number of examinations are required to determine the causes of subfebrile temperature. A patient with subfebrile temperature should contact a therapist who will draw up an individual examination plan.

How to measure temperature correctly

The temperature is measured 2 times a day — in the morning, on an empty stomach and in the evening, before the last meal, in some cases every 2-3 hours.

There are several ways to measure temperature:

In the armpit. To get the most accurate result, the armpit must be dry. Measurements are made in a calm state 1 hour after any physical activity. It is not recommended to take hot drinks before the measurement. This method is considered the least accurate because there are many sweat glands in the armpit that can affect the final result.

In the mouth. When measuring the temperature in the oral cavity, it is necessary to refrain from eating and drinking, as well as from smoking 1 hour before the measurement. With this method of measuring temperature, the results can be affected by respiratory rate, recent intake of hot or cold liquids, breathing through the mouth, etc.

In the rectum. As a rule, rectal temperature is 0.3-0.6 ° C higher than the temperature in the oral cavity, that is, a temperature of 37 ° C should be considered the norm. After a lot of physical activity or after a hot bath, the rectal temperature may rise by 2 degrees or more.

In the ear canal. This method is considered the most accurate (provided that a special thermometer is used). However, non-compliance with the rules for measuring temperature in the ear canal (which is often the case when measuring at home) can lead to erroneous results.

We also recommend reading:

— The temperature has risen for no reason: what to do?

— Hormone therapy: what you need to know?

— I have 36.5 again

— Cortisol: why do we need it?

— Who is a therapist?


Article author Natalya Gorshkova

Specialist comment

General practitioner, chief physician of the Medical Center Dialine Dzerzhinsky district Anna Tsybulina:

“It is necessary to consult a doctor if the body temperature is above 37 °C or below 35.5 °C. Temperature can occur against the background of disruption of the nervous, endocrine or cardiovascular systems, and is also caused by chronic infections, parasite infestations, incl. worms, cancer. Only a doctor can determine the cause of such a temperature. At the appointment, the doctor can prescribe blood, urine, feces, cultures, if necessary, ECG, ultrasound, X-ray studies, according to indications — endoscopic examination of the stomach and intestines, tomography and other studies.

However, when the body temperature is above 39.5 or below 32, and also at any temperature, if the patient’s condition is severe, there is a danger of complications or danger to life, an ambulance should be urgently called.


Child has fever. What to do?

1 If your child’s temperature suddenly rises (he was still healthy an hour ago), do not panic. As a rule, this is an acute respiratory disease, because it is the acute respiratory infections that make up about 90% childhood infections.

2. If the child already had symptoms of infection the day before (malaise, runny nose, sore throat, cough, voice change, moderate abdominal pain), then this is most likely a manifestation of the child’s body’s defense reaction to this infection .

3. If the child tolerates elevated body temperature well up to 39-39.60, is older than 6 months, and does not have serious concomitant diseases, then do not rush to reduce it. Make sure your child has enough to drink for adequate perspiration (drinking temperature should be around body temperature for rapid absorption). The air in the room should be cool (18-200) to cool the upper respiratory tract, as well as the entire body of the child. Under no circumstances should babies be wrapped.

4. If a child does not tolerate a rise in body temperature or has a severe concomitant pathology, we begin to reduce the temperature, or rather, we strive to improve the child’s well-being. For this, a decrease in temperature to the norm is not required (remember the protective role of elevated temperature). We use drugs ibuprofen and paracetamol (trade names may be different) approved for children in the Russian Federation in the form of syrups, drops, suppositories and tablets. The main thing is not to exceed the recommended daily dose of the drug. To improve well-being, the minimum dose of the drug indicated in the instructions may be sufficient. Typically, drug-resistant fevers are associated with the child’s inability to sweat (drinks little or the child has a «pale» type of fever).

What should not be done when the temperature is high?

• Do not wrap up the child

• If he is pale and his extremities are cool («pale» type of fever), do not use ice and cold water for cooling

• Do not use aspirin, analgin, etc., to reduce body temperature, medicines not approved for fever in children

How soon should the child be seen by a doctor?

If the child’s health does not suffer (especially after the temperature drops), you can see a doctor the next day. The best option would be to go directly to the clinic at the place of residence, then the doctor will have the opportunity to timely conduct laboratory and instrumental examinations.

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