# Thread: Is This Sentence Acceptable?

1. ## Is This Sentence Acceptable?

Hi All

As you know, in a general question, the days of the week should be asked as "what are the days of the week?"

Is this also acceptable.....?

"What are the days of a week?"

Thanks

2. ## Re: Is This Sentence Acceptable?

I can't convincingly argue that it's incorrect, but I wouldn't use it. I understand you want to ask a question to which the correct answer is

"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

In this case, I would think about week as a unique object: a unit of time consisting of unique "days": Monday, Tuesday, etc.

However, I would say

How many centimeters are there in a meter?

I'm not sure why. The difference seems to be that the parts of a meter (the centimeters) are not thought to be uniquely determined -- no one (I think) thinks about the first and the fifty-second centimeter of a meter, though it's possible. I don't quite see however how it explains the indefinite article.

3. ## Re: Is This Sentence Acceptable?

Originally Posted by birdeen's call
I can't convincingly argue that it's incorrect, but I wouldn't use it. I understand you want to ask a question to which the correct answer is

"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

In this case, I would think about week as a unique object: a unit of time consisting of unique "days": Monday, Tuesday, etc.

However, I would say

How many centimeters are in a meter?

I'm not sure why.
By the same token though, we would say "How many days in a week?" or "How many days are in a week?" or "How many days are there in a week?"

How many months are there in a year?
What are the names of the months of the year?

How many days are there in a week?
What are the [names of the] days of the week?

4. ## Re: Is This Sentence Acceptable?

Originally Posted by emsr2d2
By the same token though, we would say "How many days in a week?" or "How many days are in a week?" or "How many days are there in a week?"

How many months are there in a year?
What are the names of the months of the year?

How many days are there in a week?
What are the [names of the] days of the week?
Right! I didn't think it through. I'm still not sure why it works this way though!

5. ## Re: Is This Sentence Acceptable?

Originally Posted by murat guler
Hi All

As you know, in a general question, the days of the week should be asked as "what are the days of the week?"

Is this also acceptable.....?

"What are the days of a week?" Not the typical way to ask this question. In fact, you should expect the answer to the use of "a" in this case to be "seven".

Thanks
b.

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