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    #1

    plural vs. the + singular for speaking about entire class

    As far as I understood it at school, we use 'the + singular noun' to talk about particular qualities of species:

    The elephant is a very intelligent animal. = We are not speaking of one particular elephant but rather of elephants as the species.

    When I say 'Elephants are very intelligent animals', does it convey the same idea as the sentence above? If not, what is the difference?

    Thank you

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: plural vs. the + singular for speaking about entire class

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    As far as I understood it at school, we use 'the + singular noun' to talk about particular qualities of species:

    The elephant is a very intelligent animal. = We are not speaking of one particular elephant but rather of elephants as the species.

    When I say 'Elephants are very intelligent animals', does it convey the same idea as the sentence above? If not, what is the difference?

    Thank you
    "When I say 'Elephants are very intelligent animals', does it convey the same idea as the sentence above?" Yes, it does.

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