singley ply fingering / 4 ply fingering

Can I substitute single ply fingering for 4 ply fingering in a top down shawl ?

Ply is not a very precise yarn designation:

It might be better to look at the gauge or tension given for your pattern and the gauge given for the yarn you want to use.
What pattern are you looking at and which yarn?

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Thank you for the Spruce Crafts reference. I did a gauge swatch and went up a needle size but it is looking small. The pattern is “Thornfield Shawl” by KateWhiting Designs as found on Etsy. It calls for any “fingering/four ply yarn” with a gauge of 14 stitches per 2.5in square on #5 needles. I have some Black Elephant single I thought would look lovely in this pattern but not feeling good with the size at this point. Not sure if it is because I can’t stretch it out far enough or if my gauge isn’t what I thought. The different ply in the yarns has bugged me from the beginning so hence my question here. I didn’t think it really mattered if I got the right gauge but thought I would check. Thanks!