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    #1

    lap and fingers

    Are the sentences below both correct?
    1. All kids, have your hands in your lap.
    2. All kids, have your hands in your laps.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    I am trying to ask the kids of having 10 fingers up for counting from one to ten. Shall I say:

    4. have you ten fingers up.
    5. have your palm open and all fingers up.
    __________________________________________________ ____________


    Thank you.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: lap and fingers

    Hello Ju,

    I would say, "Put your hands in your lap" and "Hold up your hands and spread your fingers."

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    #3

    Re: lap and fingers

    I would say, "Put your hands in your laps".

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    #4

    Re: lap and fingers

    Ju, please don't address them as kids, unless you have a class of young goats.

    Rover

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    #5

    Re: lap and fingers

    Since I have two hands and one lap, I would say "Put your hands in your lap."

    "5. have your palm open and all fingers up" will only result in five fingers being displayed!

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    #6

    Re: lap and fingers

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Since I have two hands and one lap, I would say "Put your hands in your lap."
    It is very common, indeed normal, in BrE to use the plural form in such cases:

    They shook their heads.

    When a teacher says, "Put your hands up if you have the answer", s/he is instructing each pupil to raise one hand.

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    #7

    Re: lap and fingers

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is very common, indeed normal, in BrE to use the plural form in such cases:

    They shook their heads.

    When a teacher says, "Put your hands up if you have the answer", s/he is instructing each pupil to raise one hand.
    For the sake of lighthearted conversation, what is the teacher's response when the class clown puts up both hands if he knows the answer? I would prefer to instruct the class to 'put your hand up if you have the answer'.

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    #8

    Re: lap and fingers

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    For the sake of lighthearted conversation, what is the teacher's response when the class clown puts up both hands if he knows the answer?
    "One hand is enough, thank you, George."
    I would prefer to instruct the class to 'put your hand up if you have the answer'.
    Fine.

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    #9

    Re: lap and fingers

    I agree with Fivejedjon that the plural is common in BrE, but would add that the singular is also fine IMO.

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    #10

    Re: lap and fingers

    Context is everything. Ju was clearly addressing the class of young goats as a whole (all), so 'laps' must be plural.

    Had he been addressing them as individuals within the class, then 'lap' would be more appropriate. Eg: "Now, each one of you - put your hands in your lap".

    If no reference is made as to whom you are speaking - the group or the individual - then either is correct, because it can be understood either way.

    Mention of 'George' reminds me of 'George, Don't Do That', a classic light-hearted radio script and book of primary school life written by ??? (aargh, it's on the tip of my tongue). Wonderful.

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