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  1. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    which ones/which one/which

    Which ones do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?
    Which do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?

    Dear all,
    Are all these sentences above correct? And why? Thanks.

    Xianyu

    • Member Info
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      • Chinese
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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #2

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by 羡鱼-Xianyu View Post
    Which ones do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?
    Which do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?

    Dear all,
    Are all these sentences above correct? And why? Thanks.

    Xianyu
    They are all correct.
    It depends on whether you are referring to the insects as a type/group or separately.
    I prefer 4 and 5, without using 'one'.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 26-Jun-2010 at 09:34.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by 羡鱼-Xianyu View Post
    Which ones do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which one do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?
    Which do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?
    Which do you like more, butterfly or dragonfly?

    Dear all,
    Are all these sentences above correct? And why? Thanks.

    Xianyu
    Only 4. sounds natural to me.

  3. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #4

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    They are all correct.
    It depends on whether you are referring to the insects as a type/group or separately.
    I prefer 4 and 5, without using 'one'.

    not a teacher
    Thank you so much, tedtmc.

  4. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 83
    #5

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Only 4. sounds natural to me.
    Hi Raymott, thank you for your help!

    Why do you think only 4. sounds natural to you? Are the rest ones correct grammatically but are not spoken by native speakers in daily life? Especially the #1., which was taken from my textbook, why is it not natural?

    And how about the both:
    Which one do you like more, a butterfly or a dragonfly?
    Which do you like more, a butterfly or a dragonfly?

    Do native speakers speak like this?

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by 羡鱼-Xianyu View Post
    Hi Raymott, thank you for your help!

    Why do you think only 4. sounds natural to you? Are the rest ones correct grammatically but are not spoken by native speakers in daily life?
    That's right. There are an infinite number of sentences that are grammatical but not normally used in English.

    Especially the #1., which was taken from my textbook, why is it not natural?
    1. "Which ones do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?"
    It's not incorrect. You certainly can say "Which ones" for "Which". In fact, small children probably would.
    Who wrote your textbook?


    And how about the both:
    Which one do you like more, a butterfly or a dragonfly?
    Again, you could say it, but it's not idiomatic English.
    Which do you like more, a butterfly or a dragonfly?
    Not idiomatic.
    Do native speakers speak like this?
    With this construction, probably not. Let's say a person is handing out decorative stickers. If the sentence were, "Which would you prefer - a butterfly or a dragon?", then that would be normal.
    R.

  6. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 83
    #7

    Re: which ones/which one/which

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    1. "Which ones do you like more, butterflies or dragonflies?"
    It's not incorrect. You certainly can say "Which ones" for "Which". In fact, small children probably would.
    Who wrote your textbook?


    R.
    Thank you, Raymott. You're quite right! This sentence was taken from a book which is designed for little children, and written by a Chinese teacher. When I initially read the sentence, I had a hunch that it might be 'wrong' or not an idiomatic English, but I failed to figure out. That's why I started the thread.

    Have a nice day!

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