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    #1

    plural form of "he is an only child"

    Hi,
    How can I say the plural of

    "He is an only child"

    They are only children ??????

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    [QUOTE=ripley;753482]Hi,
    How can I say the plural of

    "He is an only child" This means that his parents have only one child.

    They are only children ?????? This means that they are merely children.[/QUOTE]
    The two sentences you have presented have entirely different meanings. In the second, do you mean to say that their parents have no other children?

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    #3

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    I mean that "they" (for example two boys) have no brothers or sisters; they are both in the same situation; each of them could say that he is an only child.

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    I mean that "they" (for example two boys) have no brothers or sisters; they are both in the same situation; each of them could say that he is an only child.
    Aha! Now I've got it. To avoid any ambiguity you'd have to say that "each one (of them) is an only child."

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    #5

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    If we know that they are from different families, they are only children could work me in the right context.

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    #6

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If we know that they are from different families, they are only children could work me in the right context.
    I can conceive of it just about working, but I think riquecohen's suggested version is clearer, and, I suspect, more likely.

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    #7

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If we know that they are from different families, they are only children could work me in the right context.
    Would you consider the last line in this essay the right context.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ed...st-friend.html

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    I would have interpreted that as you did - 'just children'

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    #9

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    I trust your opinion and I know that in my context it was ambiguous; I was just trying to understand if the plural form doesn't exist at all; what about "single-children" as an alternative? Does it work?
    Bye
    Rip

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    #10

    Re: plural form of "he is an only child"

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    I trust your opinion and I know that in my context it was ambiguous; I was just trying to understand if the plural form doesn't exist at all; what about "single-children" as an alternative? Does it work?
    Bye
    Rip
    Nope. "We are both single children" means that neither of you is married.

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