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Thread: Why singular?

  1. #1
    Vaedoris is offline Newbie
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    Default Why singular?

    Hi teachers, may I know why the author wrote "a child" instead of "children" in the sentence below?

    At least
    eight of the nine members of the outgoing Politburo Standing Committee have a child who has studied or worked extensively abroad.

    I've read countless of similar sentences that begin with plural nouns but describe their non-common possessions as singular. Why can't I find such sentence construction in grammar textbooks?

    Last edited by Vaedoris; 11-Nov-2012 at 07:44.

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    Default Re: Why singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaedoris View Post
    Hi teachers, may I know why the author wrote "a child" instead of "children" in the sentence below?
    The writer wants to make it clear that each member has one child who has studied or worked abroad. It is quite possible that some or all of the members may have more than one child, but not all of these other children have studied or worked abroad.

  3. #3
    Vaedoris is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Why singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The writer wants to make it clear that each member has one child who has studied or worked abroad. It is quite possible that some or all of the members may have more than one child, but not all of these other children have studied or worked abroad.
    Thank you

    Is the sentence grammatically correct?

    It can be understood that the sentence describes what you have just explained, but technically can I or not grasp the meaning as such: the eight members have one common child?

    It sounds ridiculous but technically, can the sentence be understood like so?
    Last edited by Vaedoris; 11-Nov-2012 at 08:25.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaedoris View Post
    Thank you

    Is the sentence grammatically correct? Yes.

    It can be understood that the sentence describes what you have just explained, but technically can I or not grasp the meaning as such: the eight members have one common child?

    It sounds ridiculous but technically, can the sentence be understood like so? No.
    Bhai.

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    Vaedoris is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Why singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Bhai.
    Thank you

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