# Thread: a person vs. one person

1. Banned
Join Date
Jun 2013
Posts
637

## a person vs. one person

1. Luckily, only a person was injured. = (incorrect)
2. Luckily, only one person was injured. = (correct)

Source: ABC of Common Grammatical Errors by
Nigel D Turton. Part 3 , a/an Use

Hello teachers,

As you know when we need to emphasize “how many”, we can use one. See:
Luckily, only one saucer was broken. (not two, three, etc) = Correct
Luckily, only a saucer was broken. (not a cup, plate, etc) = Correct
If so, then why number 1 is incorrect? If (a saucer) is correct then why (a person) doesn’t fit in number 1?

***************************************

One English told me:

'Luckily, only a person was injured in the accident (no animals were harmed).' = can be correct too

Thank you.

2. Moderator
Join Date
Jun 2010
Posts
11,611

## Re: a person vs. one person

Before replying to this, Using English teachers, please read this first. Only partial context has been given here.

I did not say the book was wrong, and sb knows that.

Rover
Last edited by Rover_KE; 07-Jul-2013 at 13:41.

3. ## Re: a person vs. one person

Originally Posted by sb70012
1. Luckily, only a person was injured. = (incorrect)
2. Luckily, only one person was injured. = (correct)

Source: ABC of Common Grammatical Errors by
Nigel D Turton. Part 3 , a/an Use

Hello teachers,

As you know when we need to emphasize “how many”, we can use one. See:
Luckily, only one saucer was broken. (not two, three, etc) = Correct
Luckily, only a saucer was broken. (not a cup, plate, etc) = Correct
If so, then why number 1 is incorrect? If (a saucer) is correct then why (a person) doesn’t fit in number 1?

***************************************

One English told me:

'Luckily, only a person was injured in the accident (no animals were harmed).' = can be correct too

Thank you.
There was nothing at all wrong with Rover's explanation of the grammar. The difficulty with your first sentence is that we really wouldn't consider an injury to a person (as opposed to an animal, a tree, etc) to be lucky. If you change the species, it works just fine.

There was an accident on the highway. The car was totaled, but luckily only a deer was injured.

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