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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    Arbitary use of THE for generalization?

    Hi

    This is a sentence taken from Oxford Dictionary:
    PHP Code:
    Once in the bloodstreamthe bacteria adhere to the surface of the red cells
    From this sentence I assume that the reason bacteria isn't used with S for plural and the verb adhere isn't in third person is that by the bacterial they mean "bacteria in general" and not a certain bacteria.

    If I am correct then my question: How come it doesn't say "the red cell" instead of "the red cells" for the same reason?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #2

    Re: Arbitary use of THE for generalization?

    Bacteria is already plural.
    Bacterium is singular.
    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.

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