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  1. #1
    Arara is offline Newbie
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    brothers or siblings?

    Hi,

    Liza has one brother and one sister.
    Can I say?
    Liza has two brothers or the word brothers can only be related to males.

    Should I say Liz has two siblings?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    A brother is a male sibling.

  3. #3
    Arara is offline Newbie
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    That's mean saying brothers is wrong when I am talking about one sister and one brother.

  4. #4
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arara View Post
    That's means saying 'brothers' is wrong when I am talking about one sister and one brother.
    Clearly! Your sister is not male.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    See also the answers to beachboy's question in the Similar Threads below.

    You appear to have no single word in Italian for 'brothers and sisters', Arara.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 12-Jul-2012 at 09:30.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arara View Post
    That's mean saying brothers is wrong when I am talking about one sister and one brother.
    How would saying Liza has two sisters sound? Neither sentence works- sisters aren't brothers and brothers aren't sisters.

  7. #7
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    Gilnetter's choices cover the ground: 'Either Liz has two siblings, or, Liz has a brother and a sister.' Bear in mind, though, that if you use the first option you'll run the risk of being mistaken for an anthropology text-book. Colloquial British English just doesn't have a sexless option.

    b

    PS Similarly 'uncles and aunts'.

  8. #8
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    After seeing a few threads that mention siblings, I've come to the conclusion that the word is simply more common in the US. I find it very normal to mention siblings and I know I've others use the word in very casual settings. You'll even hear "sibs" as shorthand.
    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.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    It's not that common in BrE.

  10. #10
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: brothers or siblings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    After seeing a few threads that mention siblings, I've come to the conclusion that the word is simply more common in the US. I find it very normal to mention siblings and I know I've others use the word in very casual settings. You'll even hear "sibs" as shorthand.
    Yes, I started saying 'Colloquial English', but then thought maybe I should add 'British'. Good job I did

    b

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