# (semi)-Automatic pluralization around a citation

In my document, I will write something like this (using natbib, but that shouldn't matter too much):

\citet{reference} show that .....


which would render as

Jones et al (1990) show that....

(\citet in \natbib creates an 'author-list (year)' reference style)

Of course if {reference} was a single individual, I should have written

\cite{reference} shows that ....


rendering as

Jones (1990) shows that....

Since I'm lazy and can't take the extra 5 seconds to search the reference to see if it's a single author or not, is there conceivably an automated way to do pluralization ? Or some relatively simple macro that would look like

\IfRefIsPlural{reference}{show}{shows}

• Are you sure your first example is grammatically correct. To me Jones and Smith (1990) seems like one thing. – StrongBad Feb 6 '14 at 21:52
• I think that's right. 'Jones and Smith show...' but 'Jones and Smith (1990) shows...' because it is talking about a single article. At least, that sounds right to me. But that's presumably off-topic here. The question of whether it can be implemented is independent of whether it should be. – cfr Feb 6 '14 at 22:00
• Maybe I should have posted on english.SE :). or at least the non-TeX part. – Suresh Feb 7 '14 at 0:19

With biblatex one could do the following:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[style=authoryear,natbib=true]{biblatex}

% Used in some citations
\newcounter{totalnames}
\DeclareNameFormat{labelname}{%
\setcounter{totalnames}{\value{author}}%
\ifcase\value{uniquename}%
\usebibmacro{name:family}
{\namepartfamily}
{\namepartgiven}
{\namepartprefix}
{\namepartsuffix}%
\or
\ifuseprefix
{\usebibmacro{name:given-family}
{\namepartfamily}
{\namepartgiveni}
{\namepartprefix}
{\namepartsuffixi}}
{\usebibmacro{name:given-family}
{\namepartfamily}
{\namepartgiveni}
{\namepartprefixi}
{\namepartsuffixi}}%
\or
\usebibmacro{name:given-family}
{\namepartfamily}
{\namepartgiven}
{\namepartprefix}
{\namepartsuffix}%
\fi
\usebibmacro{name:andothers}}

\newcommand{\IfRefIsPlural}[2]{%
\ifnum\thetotalnames=1
#1%
\else%
#2
\fi%
}

\begin{document}

\citet{bertram} \IfRefIsPlural{shows}{show}

\citet{angenendt} \IfRefIsPlural{shows}{show}

\printbibliography
\end{document}


(small caveat: this won't work for \citet{bertram,angenendt})