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  1. #1
    calmalways is offline Newbie
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    the use of singular and plural

    Here is the sentence from news:
    The right of children to know the identity of their biological parents is a human right.

    My question is: why the words 'right' and 'identity' are used in singular rather than plural.
    for 'right', is it because there's only one right-to know the identity of their biological parents-considered in this sentence?
    for 'identity', I will use plural if I write this sentence.

    Thanks a lot and happy new year!
    Sonya

  2. #2
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    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the use of singular and plural

    Quote Originally Posted by calmalways View Post
    Here is the sentence from news:
    The right of children to know the identity of their biological parents is a human right.

    My question is: why the words 'right' and 'identity' are used in singular rather than plural.
    for 'right', is it because there's only one right-to know the identity of their biological parents-considered in this sentence?
    for 'identity', I will use plural if I write this sentence.

    Thanks a lot and happy new year!
    Sonya
    It is not that there is only ONE right, but it is a UNIVERSAL rigth, according to the author.

    And parents is taken as a whole. He could have said, the identity of their mother and father.

    cheers

  3. #3
    calmalways is offline Newbie
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    Re: the use of singular and plural

    Thanks a lot Heidita.
    So if the expression of a word or phrase is universal or taken as a whole, we can consider it as singular, right?

    "The right of children to know the identity of their biological parents is a human right."
    right: universal
    children: whole
    their biological parents: whole

    I'm still confused, why don't you say 'the identity of their mothers and fathers?'

    Quote Originally Posted by heidita View Post
    It is not that there is only ONE right, but it is a UNIVERSAL rigth, according to the author.

    And parents is taken as a whole. He could have said, the identity of their mother and father.

    cheers

  4. #4
    heidita's Avatar
    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the use of singular and plural

    You are right: mothers and fathers could be possible too. Actually, more so.

    I was thinking of several children and only one mother and one father. Of course, he is referring to several children, and several parents.

    So, you are quite right.

    cheers

  5. #5
    calmalways is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: the use of singular and plural

    Quote Originally Posted by heidita View Post
    You are right: mothers and fathers could be possible too. Actually, more so.

    I was thinking of several children and only one mother and one father. Of course, he is referring to several children, and several parents.

    So, you are quite right.

    cheers
    Thanks a lot! :)

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