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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    *EDIT:
    I thought about #1 and #2 again. I think #1 one means each car has one engine and #2 means each car has many engines? But how come #3 is plural? #3 means each person need to return to their home? If that's what it means, how come #2 doesn't mean that?
    #2, #3, and #4 are ambiguous.

    #1 These cars have an engine (each).
    #2 These cars have engines. (one engine each or more than one engine each)
    #3 You guys need to return to your homes. (see #2)
    #4 You guys need to return to your (own) home. (one home each or they all live together in the same home)

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    #1 These cars have an engine (each).
    How do I say all these cars have one engine?

    Thanks.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    How do I say all these cars have one engine?

    Thanks.
    Do you mean, only one engine each or share an engine?

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    Do you mean, only one engine each or share an engine?
    Share an engine. Like all these cars have one engine in total.

    How do I say all these cars have one engine?
    This is for one engine each, what's for one engine in total?

    So these are ambiguous as well right?
    1. We have a life. (So this means one life each for every person?)
    2. We have lives. (Either one life each for every person or more than one life? I saw this one on TV. How come they don't use #1?)

    3. You guys need to return to your home immediately. (Does this mean one home for each person?)
    4. You guys need to return to your homes immediately. (One more for each person or more than one more for each person? I saw this on TV as well. Why don't they use #3?)

    Also, for the questions above 1-4, how do you know which one to use? Let's say the government is telling everybody to return to their home, do I use #3 or #4?

    5. Everybody needsto return to their home! (Since 'everybody' is here, does this mean one home each?)
    6. Everybody needsto return to their homes! (More than one home for each person but not one home each?)

    7. Everybody need to return home! (This is subjunctive, a command. So is 'need' here correct? If not, why?)

    Thanks
    Last edited by jack; 22-Jan-2005 at 08:38.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    #1 These cars have an engine (each).
    #2 These cars have engines. (one engine each or more than one engine each)
    Since #1 means that, how do I say all these cars have ONE engine then? Not one engine each.

    Semantically though, and given it's a linking structure, the plural noun (Hard drives) is described by the singular subject complement (a sensitive instrument) as having individual units.
    What do you mean it is a 'linking structure'? What can I type in for my search key? So I can read more about these online?

    Let's say I'm going out with my pals and they are all in one car. And I ask:
    1. Do you guys have a car? (Altogether they all have ONE car not one car each? Or does it mean one car each? How do you know? How does the hard drive one work?)
    2. Do you guys have cars? (Asking if each one of them has a car?)

    #1 These cars have an engine (each).
    #2 These cars have engines. (one engine each or more than one engine each)
    What's the point of using #1 vs #2 and vice versa?


    Thanks.
    Last edited by jack; 25-Jan-2005 at 11:16.

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Instrument / Instruments

    Context:

    These cars have an engine designed by..... (I'm thinking of the engines a a single thing)
    These cars have engines designed to run on biofuels (the engines could be different sizes)

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