Results 1 to 8 of 8
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2011
    • Posts: 11
    #1

    plural or not plural

    Both you and your girlfriend should not go out together any more.


    Both you should find a boyfriend for yourself.
    Both you should find boyfriends for yourselves.


    I am always confused with when to use plural. Which one in the above is correct?

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: plural or not plural

    What do you mean to say in your first sentence? Are you suggesting a couple break up?

    If you are addressing two females (or, I suppose a gay male and a female, or two gay males):
    Both of you should find a boyfriend.
    Both of you should find boyfriends. (This is fine - it doesn't mean each should have several.)
    You shoudl both find boyfriends.
    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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2011
    • Posts: 11
    #3

    Re: plural or not plural

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    What do you mean to say in your first sentence? Are you suggesting a couple break up?

    In Asia, it is quite normal to go out with friends of the same sex, especially for young people. People in the West tend to have a phobia about this.

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 1,458
    #4

    Re: plural or not plural

    Quote Originally Posted by aha123 View Post
    In Asia, it is quite normal to go out with friends of the same sex, especially for young people. People in the West tend to have a phobia about this.
    What do you mean? You think that there is a phobia about men or woman going out together? I live in the West and there is absolutely no phobia about that. I'm a little bit surprised by your view. Perhaps I have mistunderstood your message.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 29-Jul-2012 at 22:57.

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: plural or not plural

    There is no such phobia. I needed to understand your meaning. In fact, I still don't understand your meaning.
    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.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,838
    #6

    Re: plural or not plural

    The confusion may come from the use of "going out with". In BrE, that means "dating" or being "romantically involved".

    I am going out with Simon, who lives on the other side of town = I am dating Simon.

    If someone said "I think that you and your boyfriend should not go out together any more" I would be a) offended at them for sticking their nose into my business and b) probably determined to continue dating Simon.

    From your original post, I think I have worked out that it is addressed to two girls who spend a lot of time in each other's company. Someone is suggesting that they should spend less time together and they should both find a boyfriend.

    Remember that in BrE if you say to a girl "You and your girlfriend", you are assumed to be addressing a lesbian and talking about her female romantic partner. In AmE, a "girlfriend" can just be a female friend.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #7

    Re: plural or not plural

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The confusion may come from the use of "going out with". In BrE, that means "dating" or being "romantically involved".
    I agree that it very often means this, but it doesn't have to. The following sentences are spoken by a male, sexuality unknown:

    1. Mary and I have been going out for six months.
    2. Peter and I have been going out for six months.
    3. I am going out with Mary this evening.
    4. I am going out with Peter this evening.
    5. I am going out with my mates this evening.

    1. Dating/romantic involvement, heterosexual.
    2. Dating/romantic involvement, gay.
    3. Posssibly a date, though 'I' could be just going to the cinema/pub/ballet with a friend/colleague.
    4. As for #3.
    5. A group of friends are probably going to the pub.

    Context will normally make the meaning clear. If the speaker wishes to lower the possibility of implication of dating in #3 and #4, he may rephrase them in some way, such as:

    3. I'm going to see 'Les Mis' with Mary this evening. One of my students gave me a couple of tickets, and I remember Mary mentioning at school that she loved the show.
    4. I'm going (out) for a pint with Peter this evening.

    I'll just reiterate what Chicken Sandwich and Barb said. There is no such phobia as you suggested.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,838
    #8

    Re: plural or not plural

    I agree entirely with the examples 5jj. What I should have said was that "going out with + name of person of opposite sex" where "going out with" is almost a three-word phrasal verb means "dating".

    "Going out + with + name of person of opposite sex" where it's the phrasal verb followed by a preposition and then a name, means "going somewhere with a friend".

    I see "going out" and "going out with" as two separate verbs in a way.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Similar Threads

  1. Plural Nouns after Plural Possessives
    By sarahmacalalad in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Jul-2011, 10:50
  2. [Grammar] Plural or not plural "direction(s) 1 and 2"
    By Nirak in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2011, 08:03
  3. plural
    By peter123 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Jan-2008, 09:27
  4. Plural amounts in plural objects.
    By Hecquaro in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2007, 16:17
  5. Plural
    By asad hussain in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2007, 06:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •