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Thread: both...and...


    • Join Date: Dec 2008
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    #1

    Question both...and...

    'Both the boy and the girl looked happy'.
    Is it possible to use plurals in this structure and say
    'Both the boys and the girls looked happy.'?

  1. buggles's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: both...and...

    Quote Originally Posted by olviga View Post
    'Both the boy and the girl looked happy'.
    Is it possible to use plurals in this structure and say
    'Both the boys and the girls looked happy.'?
    Not too sure about whether or not it's strictly correct grammatically, but to a native speaker, using both for two lots of anything sounds fine.
    The both applies to the two nouns, "boys" and "girls". It wouldn't matter whether or not the nouns were singular, the both merely emphasises there's two of them.

    So "Both the men and the women were singing." is fine, but "Both the men, women and children were singing." is not.

    buggles(not ateacher)


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    #3

    Re: both...and...

    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    Not too sure about whether or not it's strictly correct grammatically, but to a native speaker, using both for two lots of anything sounds fine.
    The both applies to the two nouns, "boys" and "girls". It wouldn't matter whether or not the nouns were singular, the both merely emphasises there's two of them.

    So "Both the men and the women were singing." is fine, but "Both the men, women and children were singing." is not.

    buggles(not ateacher)
    Thanks very much indeed, Buggles.
    It was really important for me to get an answer from a native speaker of English.

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