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    #1

    Why didn't the writer use the plural form here?

    The Scandinavian countries are much admired all over the world for their enlightened social policies. Sweden has evolved an excellent system for protecting the individual citizen from high-handed or incompetent public officers.

    New Concept English Book 3, Lesson 53
    Shouldn't it be the individual citizens, instead of the individual citizen?

    Since more than one government officer are involved, it's not very likely they would work together just to cause misery in only one person's life. I don't get it. Why didn't the writher use the plural form?

    Many thanks

    Richard

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    #2

    Re: Why didn't the writer use the plural form here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    This is correct as written. The word "individual" points to one person. What this is saying is that each person (each citizen, each individual) is protected. By protecting each person, all people are protected.
    It sounds like that it would not be wrong if I simply rephrase the sentence with the plural form here. By protecting each individual, we are protecting all individuals who need protecting. Therefore, it doesn't matter we use the individual citizen or the individual citizens, we end up doing the same thing.

    Am I right?

    Many thanks

    Richard

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    #3

    Re: Why didn't the writer use the plural form here?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    It sounds like that it would not be wrong if I simply rephrase the sentence with the plural form here. By protecting each individual, we are protecting all individuals who need protecting. Therefore, it doesn't matter we use the individual citizen or the individual citizens, we end up doing the same thing.

    Am I right?

    Many thanks

    Richard
    No. "The individual citizens" is an oxymoron. The point being stressed is that each citizen is protected, not just "citizens".

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