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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default My typical, easily confused self

    Okay. Here we go. If I were to say, " I have 4 apples and oranges," should that be interpreted as having 4 apples and 4 oranges, 4 apples and an unspecified number of oranges, or a total of 4 fruits? Thanks for the help. I know by restructuring the sentence, it could be clarified, but this sentence has boggled me for some time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My typical, easily confused self

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Okay. Here we go. If I were to say, " I have 4 apples and oranges," should that be interpreted as having 4 apples and 4 oranges, 4 apples and an unspecified number of oranges, or a total of 4 fruits? Thanks for the help. I know by restructuring the sentence, it could be clarified, but this sentence has boggled me for some time.
    I have 4 apples and oranges.
    => I have 4 pieces of fruit. [edited]

    I have four [apples], and oranges.
    => 4 apples, and some oranges.

    :D

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My typical, easily confused self

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it. I was always taught that a comma would only be used for separating items in a list...which leads me to my next question. How could I say the boys and girls in the class total to 21 students? (For example, I couldn't say "There are 21 boys and girls in the class.) I'm always perplexed by the simplest grammatical rules.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My typical, easily confused self

    Quote Originally Posted by grc15r
    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it. I was always taught that a comma would only be used for separating items in a list...which leads me to my next question. How could I say the boys and girls in the class total to 21 students? (For example, I couldn't say "There are 21 boys and girls in the class.) I'm always perplexed by the simplest grammatical rules.
    If punctuation perplexes, use words instead, like this,

    There are 21 boys and 11 girls in the class.

    There are a total of 21 students, boys and girls, in the class.

    :D

  5. #5
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    Actually, I prefer the punctuation. I enjoy seeing examples with the correct punctuation that I can emulate in my own writing. It's very helpful. (For example, "4 oranges, and apples" as opposed to "4 oranges and apples," makes pefect sense now.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by grc15r
    Actually, I prefer the punctuation. I enjoy seeing examples with the correct punctuation that I can emulate in my own writing. It's very helpful. (For example, "4 oranges, and apples" as opposed to "4 oranges and apples," makes pefect sense now.)
    That's great!

    I've apples and 4 oranges.

    :D

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by grc15r
    Actually, I prefer the punctuation. I enjoy seeing examples with the correct punctuation that I can emulate in my own writing. It's very helpful. (For example, "4 oranges, and apples" as opposed to "4 oranges and apples," makes pefect sense now.)
    That's great!

    I've apples and 4 oranges.

    :D
    Mind you, it does seem unfair to the poor old apples not to count them.

  8. #8
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    If somebody said "I have four apples and oranges" I would probably think they meant they had four fruits. After all, the normal way of saying that would be either to specify each or to specify neither. Thus, a person might say I have four apples and four oranges or I have some apples and some oranges.

    :)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    If somebody said "I have four apples and oranges" I would probably think they meant they had four fruits.

    Thanks!

    :D

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