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  1. #1
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post neighbor's or neighbors'

    Dear friends,

    If there are five people who live next door to me, and their house is very large. Do we say 'Our neighbor's house is larger than ours' or 'Our neighbors' house is larger than ours'? (Even if I know there are 5 people in their family)

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Even if you know that there are five people in the family, there may be one owner of the house. If that is who you are referring to, then it's the neighbour's house. If you are simply thinking of the house as belonging to all of them, then it's the neighbours' house.

  3. #3
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Even if you know that there are five people in the family, there may be one owner of the house. If that is who you are referring to, then it's the neighbour's house. If you are simply thinking of the house as belonging to all of them, then it's the neighbours' house.
    Thank you, fivejedjon. Please allow me to ask two more questions:

    Which way would most people write that sentence if they referred to that one house that is next door to and larger than mine? 'My neighbor's or neighbors' house is larger than my house'

    If my house is the smallest around the neighborhood, can I say 'my neighbors' houses are larger than my house'? Does it sound a bit weird?

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    1 I'd use the singular, but I would say my next door neighbour's house... to narrow things down.
    2 You could make it 100% clear by saying are all larger.

  5. #5
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    1 I'd use the singular, but I would say my next door neighbour's house... to narrow things down.
    2 You could make it 100% clear by saying are all larger.
    So, in the second case, I guess you would say 'my neighbours' houses are all larger than my house'?

  6. #6
    JTRiff is offline Member
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    I think it should probably almost always be neighbour's. You can't count the word neighbours. Even if you know there are fifty of them, the reader may not. Neighbours' houses implies more than one house full of neighbours.

  7. #7
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    If the Smiths and the Browns and ..., their house(using singular?) is all larger than mine. Would you use 'our neighbours' houses are all larger than mine' or 'our neighbour's houses are all larger than mine' or 'all my neighbour's houses are larger than mine' or 'all my neighbour's house is larger than mine'?
    Last edited by Heidi; 12-Apr-2011 at 11:02.

  8. #8
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Well, sorry, I think I'm getting a little annoying. I appreciate your patience and please check this out:

    Jenny is my friend, she's got one watch.
    Nick is my friend, he's got one watch.
    Vic is also my friend, he's got one watch, too.
    ...
    I think their watches are all more beautiful than my watch.
    Which is correct?
    #1 All my friend's watches are more beautiful than mine.
    #2 All my friends' watches are more beautiful than mine.

    Thank you!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    I think their watches are all more beautiful than my watch.
    Which is correct?
    #1 All my friend's watches are more beautiful than mine.
    #2 All my friends' watches are more beautiful than mine.
    friend's - the watches belong to your friend.
    friends' - the watches belong to your friends.

    So - #2.

  10. #10
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Question Re: neighbor's or neighbors'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    friend's - the watches belong to your friend.
    friends' - the watches belong to your friends.

    So - #2.
    By analogy, if
    The Smiths have a house near my house. Their house is larger than my house.
    The Browns have a house near my house. Their house is larger than my house.
    ...

    Is it correct to say 'my neighbours' houses are all larger than mine'?

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