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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    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.

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    #2

    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

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    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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