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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline VIP Member
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    You can know the age of a tree by counting its rings.

    What do you think is the difference between 1 and 2 in terms of "a tree" and "trees"? Does "a tree" denote "an unspecific tree" or "general trees, generalization"? It sounds either way, ambiguous.

    1. You can know the age of a tree by counting its rings. This is because each ring shows one year of wood growth...
    2. You can know the age of trees by counting their rings.

  2. #2
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: You can know the age of a tree by counting its rings.

    Both are general statements. They mean the same thing.
    A general statement can be singular or plural.

    not a teacher

  3. #3
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: You can know the age of a tree by counting its rings.

    I don't see any difference. In 1, a tree implies any tree. In 2, trees implies all trees. So logically they are equivalent. My preference is 1, but I wouldn't criticize someone who used 2.

    BTW determine would be better than know in both cases.

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