I want to use the Views module to obtain the number of comments associated to a node, and show it as "1 comment," "5 comments."
How do I do this?
Checkout the Views Group By module, this will do it. Here is a quote about it (from the module's project page):
... enriches Views2 functionality with SQL Grouping and Aggregation capabilities.
A new field group: SQL Aggregation is added, in Views, once you install the module. The field group has one available field: SQL Aggregation: Group By Fields. The field allows to configure many aspects of "group by" SQL clause and "count()" fields.