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  1. Banned
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
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      • Iran
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      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jun 2013
    • Posts: 637
    #1

    a person vs. one person

    1. Luckily, only a person was injured. = (incorrect)
    2. Luckily, only one person was injured. = (correct)

    Source: ABC of Common Grammatical Errors by
    Nigel D Turton. Part 3 , a/an Use


    Hello teachers,

    As you know when we need to emphasize “how many”, we can use one. See:
    Luckily, only one saucer was broken. (not two, three, etc) = Correct
    Luckily, only a saucer was broken. (not a cup, plate, etc) = Correct
    If so, then why number 1 is incorrect? If (a saucer) is correct then why (a person) doesn’t fit in number 1?


    Many thanks in advance.

    ***************************************

    One English told me:

    Your book is wrong because:

    'Luckily, only a person was injured in the accident (no animals were harmed).' = can be correct too


    But what's your opinion?

    Thank you.

    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,486
    #2

    Re: a person vs. one person

    Before replying to this, Using English teachers, please read this first. Only partial context has been given here.

    I did not say the book was wrong, and sb knows that.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 07-Jul-2013 at 12:41.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #3

    Re: a person vs. one person

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    1. Luckily, only a person was injured. = (incorrect)
    2. Luckily, only one person was injured. = (correct)

    Source: ABC of Common Grammatical Errors by
    Nigel D Turton. Part 3 , a/an Use


    Hello teachers,

    As you know when we need to emphasize “how many”, we can use one. See:
    Luckily, only one saucer was broken. (not two, three, etc) = Correct
    Luckily, only a saucer was broken. (not a cup, plate, etc) = Correct
    If so, then why number 1 is incorrect? If (a saucer) is correct then why (a person) doesn’t fit in number 1?


    Many thanks in advance.

    ***************************************

    One English told me:

    Your book is wrong because:

    'Luckily, only a person was injured in the accident (no animals were harmed).' = can be correct too


    But what's your opinion?

    Thank you.
    There was nothing at all wrong with Rover's explanation of the grammar. The difficulty with your first sentence is that we really wouldn't consider an injury to a person (as opposed to an animal, a tree, etc) to be lucky. If you change the species, it works just fine.

    There was an accident on the highway. The car was totaled, but luckily only a deer was injured.

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