Student or Learner
Like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.
The above sentence was quoted from today's VOA (said by Presidendt OBAMA).
I have a question-
Why he use their sacrifice instead sacrifices? Both of them are right?
In the first one, each person made a sacrifice.
In the second one, there are many people in a family, each with his or her own sacrifice, making many sacrifices.
The first one COULD have been plural - referring to the collective sacrifices made by all of them, but the sentence wouldn't have been as balanced.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.