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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Malagasy
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 183
    #1

    generic meaning

    hi,

    my question is when referring a general meaning, do we use plural nouns all the time?
    e.g.
    1. i like apples (should an apply be optional here in this sentence)?
    2. dogs are men's best friends (the dog is a man's best friend?)

    thanks

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #2

    Re: generic meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    hi,

    my question is when referring a general meaning, do we use plural nouns all the time?
    e.g.
    1. i like apples (should an apply be optional here in this sentence)?
    2. dogs are men's best friends (the dog is a man's best friend?)

    thanks
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, Sebayanpendam.

    (1) I like apples/ My favorite fruit is apples/ My favorite fruit is the apple (very formal English).

    (2) Dog is man's best friend.

    (a) (A) dog is (a) man's best friend.

    (i) Most native speakers do not use "a."

    (ii) They also do not use the plural.

    (iii) Why? Because it is not idiomatic (the way that native

    speakers use the language).

    (a) When you say "Dog is man's best friend," it is not really a

    sentence. It is more like a saying, expression, or proverb -- such

    as "Practice makes perfect." Native speakers "drop" little words like "a"

    because it sounds better.

    Have a nice day!

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