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Thread: second and...

  1. #1
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    second and...

    Hi,

    Both genres were important to Athenians of the fifth and fourth century(centuries) .

    Why couldn't you know the answers of second and fifth question(s) ?

    We must use the plural ones in two sentences because of the 'and' ?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: second and...

    You use the plural version because you are talking about more than one thing. More than one century, more than one question.

    Your second sentence should be ""...the answers to the second and fifth questions?"

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: second and...

    Quote Originally Posted by aysaa View Post
    Hi,

    Both genres were important to Athenians of the fifth and fourth century(centuries) .

    Why couldn't you know the answers of second and fifth question(s) ?

    We must use the plural ones in two sentences because of the 'and' ?

    Thanks.
    A possible reason for your wanting to use the singular is when 'fourth century' and 'fifth century' are used adjectivally. Many writers' advice is to use a hyphen - "fourth-century Athenians"; but this leads to something decried in many house styles - the 'hanging hyphen': 'fourth- and fifth-century Athenians'. The best thing to do then is to paraphrase (and use the plural): 'Athenians of the fourth and fifth centuries'.

    b

    PS In my proof-reading days I might have been tempted to juggle the surrounding text so that the hanging hyphen fell on a line break, with the result that the error of style was disguised.

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