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Thread: the Browns

  1. #1
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    Default the Browns

    Hello,

    To what extend can we use the phrase "the + surname in plural (+ -s)" like in the Browns, the Connerys, the Onassises, the Jameses for:

    1) a married couple only
    2) a brother and a sister carrying the same name (with parents f.i. dead)
    3) a brother and a married sister (still regarded as a family)
    3) brothers or sisters (alternatively for the Kennedy bothers, the Bronte sisters),
    4) multi-generation family with all members alive (grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren),
    5) a clan (in genealogy),
    5) configurations like a widow after one brother and the second brother?

    What is the determining factor in here?

    Thank you, Ewelina

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: the Browns

    Hello Ewelina

    I would say as follows:

    1) a married couple ]
    Fine.

    2) a brother and a sister carrying the same name (with parents f.i. dead)

    I would find this a bit strange; you'd be more likely to say "Ewelina and Eustace Brown".

    3) a brother and a married sister (still regarded as a family)

    No, I don't think so.

    3) brothers or sisters (alternatively for the Kennedy bothers, the Bronte sisters),

    The Brown brothers, the Kennedy sisters, etc. would be fine; though perhaps a little old-fashioned.

    4) multi-generation family with all members alive (grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren),

    If they all lived in the same house, possibly. Otherwise, I don't think so.

    5) a clan (in genealogy),

    No, probably not.

    5) configurations like a widow after one brother and the second brother?

    No, quite unlikely!

    MrP

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the Browns

    Understood. Thank you

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