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  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default gray and white car

    "A gray and white car is parked outside the hotel." That's what I wrote but was told that it's incorrect to talk about a single car since it means two different cars parked outside the hotel not a car with two colors and that it takes the plural of "to be". I would appreciate a word of advice from you.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    One car that has two colors: A gray and white car.

    Two cars, one gray, one white: A gray and a white car. A gray car and a white car.

    There is no way that "a _____ car is" can refer to two cars.

    EDITED to fix my confusing typo!
    Last edited by Barb_D; 18-Mar-2011 at 20:25.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "A gray and white car is parked outside the hotel." That's what I wrote but was told that it's incorrect to talk about a single car since it means two different cars parked outside the hotel not a car with two colors and that it takes the plural of "to be". I would appreciate a word of advice from you.
    *British spelling alert!*
    Your sentence is fine, it means that one car, grey and white in colour, is parked outside the hotel.

  4. #4
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    One car that has two colors: A gray and white car.

    Two cars, one gray, one white: A gray and a white car. A gray car and a white car.

    There is no way that "a _____ car" can refer to one car.
    I want to make sure that I got it right. So "a gray and white car" refers to one car and the correct form of the verb "is". OK?
    Sorry I already sent my message before you wrote yours.

    Could it be "a gray car and white one" or "a gray and white cars"?
    Last edited by ostap77; 18-Mar-2011 at 20:32.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    "A whatever whatever car is" is singular. "A" refers to one thing. "Is" is a singular verb. "Car" is a singular form.

    If there was more than one car, then you would say "cars...are" with no "a" before.

  6. #6
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Could it be "a gray car and white one" or "a gray and white cars"?
    This is good:
    a gray car and a white one

    This is wrong:
    a gray and white cars

    As SoothingDave said, "a" is always for a single thing. "A cars" is incorrect.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: gray and white car

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    I want to make sure that I got it right. So "a gray and white car" refers to one car and the correct form of the verb "is". OK?
    Sorry I already sent my message before you wrote yours.

    Could it be "a gray car and white one" or "a gray and white cars"?
    I had since fixed my typo.

    a car is = one car only, not two

    Don't use a.... cars.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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