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  1. #1
    infiniteone's Avatar
    infiniteone is offline Newbie
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    Default "Kids are a full time job."

    I have diffiiculty understanding the meaning of the following sentence.
    This sentence comes from an article about adopting kids.

    Kids are a full time job.


    Is that means that parenting kids are a full time job?
    If it means that, Is that sentence is grammartic or well-formed ?

    How about the downer sentence ?

    Kids are full time jobs.

  2. #2
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    I have diffiiculty understanding the meaning of the following sentence.
    This sentence comes from an article about adopting kids.

    Kids are a full time job.


    Is that means that parenting kids are a full time job?
    If it means that, Is that sentence is grammartic or well-formed ?

    How about the downer sentence ?

    Kids are full time jobs.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, infiniteone.

    (1) Yes, I believe that "Kids are a full-time job" is correct.

    (2) Perhaps "Parenting is a full-time job" would be a little more accurate.

    (3) I believe that your last sentence should not be used.

    Have a nice day!

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    How about the downer sentence ?

    Kids are full time jobs.
    What's a downer sentence? Do you mean "How about the sentence below?"

  4. #4
    infiniteone's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    What's a downer sentence? Do you mean "How about the sentence below?"
    yes. I meant it.
    Thank you for correcting it.

    So... How about the sentence below?

    Kids are full time jobs.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    yes. I meant it.
    Thank you for correcting it.

    So... How about the sentence below?

    Kids are full time jobs.
    No, each kid isn't a job. Any number of kids from one upwards is a full-time job.

  6. #6
    infiniteone's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, each kid isn't a job. Any number of kids from one upwards is a full-time job.
    Thank you for replying me.

    The thing I am curious about is in sentence A, how the plural form of the subject and verb(kids, are) takes the singular form of the noun as a complement (a full time job).

    I thought that was not grammatical like sentence B.

    A: Kids are a full time job.


    B: Apples are a tasty fruit.

  7. #7
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    Thank you for replying me.

    The thing I am curious about is in sentence A, how the plural form of the subject and verb(kids, are) takes the singular form of the noun as a complement (a full time job).

    I thought that was not grammatical like sentence B.

    A: Kids are a full time job.


    B: Apples are a tasty fruit.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, infiniteone.

    (1) Do I understand your comment correctly?

    Are you saying that "Apples are a tasty fruit" is UNgrammatical?

    If you are, may I very respectfully suggest that it is, in fact, very "correct."

    (2) Unfortunately, I cannot explain the reason.

    (3) Maybe (only maybe) the reason is that we are talking about the different kinds of fruits:

    TEACHER: Can you name some tasty fruits?

    STUDENT 1: Apples are a tasty fruit.

    STUDENT 2: Bananas are also a tasty fruit.

    STUDENT 3: And don't forget cherries. They are another tasty fruit.

    (4) Hopefully, some teacher or non-teacher will explain the "rule" to you and me.

    Have a nice day!

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    Thank you for replying me.

    The thing I am curious about is in sentence A, how the plural form of the subject and verb(kids, are) takes the singular form of the noun as a complement (a full time job).

    I thought that was not grammatical like sentence B.

    A: Kids are a full time job.


    B: Apples are a tasty fruit.
    There is varying tolerance towards a sentence like this. It's not wrong though.
    Here, "apples" doesn't refer to more than one apple. It refers to one species, Malus domestica.
    Some people would prefer to reword a sentence like this to: "The apple is a tasty fruit." That fixes the grammar problem, but it introduces a new potential complication since, in this case, "the apple" doesn't refer to a specific apple.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Kids are a full time job."

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniteone View Post
    Thank you for replying me.

    The thing I am curious about is in sentence A, how the plural form of the subject and verb(kids, are) takes the singular form of the noun as a complement (a full time job).

    I thought that was not grammatical like sentence B.

    A: Kids are a full time job.


    B: Apples are a tasty fruit.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, infiniteone.

    (1) Thank you for asking such a difficult question. I think I may have found some helpful information.

    (2) Yes, you are correct about the rule:

    singular noun (or phrase) + IS + singular noun.

    Plural noun + ARE + plural noun.

    (3) As you know, probably every language has EXCEPTIONS.

    (4) You wish to talk about a plural noun (apples) and a singular noun (fruit).

    (a) The "rule" is usually this: the verb agrees with the FIRST noun:

    (i) Apples + ARE (because "apples" is plural) + a tasty fruit.

    (ii) A tasty fruit + IS (because "fruit" is singular) + apples.

    (P. S. You may also say: The apple is a tasty fruit; A tasty fruit is the apple.)

    *****

    (5) Your sentence "Kids are a full-time job" is a little more difficult.

    (a) "Are" because "kids" is plural.

    (b) But probably you may NOT say: "A full-time job is kids."

    (c) In your "apples" sentence, you were identifying something. So you could say "Apples are...." or "A tasty fruit is..."

    (d) If I understand my book correctly, your "kids" sentence is not identifying anything. It is describing something -- as an ADJECTIVE does.

    (e) When you say "full-time job," I think that you mean it takes all of your time.

    (i) Well,then, your sentence almost equals "Kids are time-consuming." As you can see, "time-consuming" is an adjective.

    (a) The book I am using has two such examples:

    The younger children are a problem.
    Dogs are good company.

    "Are a problem" and "good company" LOOK like nouns, but the MEANING is clearly ADJECTIVAL. (And, as you know, an IS/ARE sentence with adjectives does not have to be "balanced": He IS nice; They ARE nice.)

    Thank you for your great question. I learned so much.

    *****

    If you want to read about this yourself, see A COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, by Randolph Quirk , Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. I have the 1985 edition. There may be a newer edition. Look for "subject-verb concord."

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