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    #1

    was killed on the King’s orders

    He was killed on the King’s orders.
    Longman dictionary

    I wonder why they use the plural -- "orders"...
    And would it be also correct to use the singular here?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by Vik-Nik-Sor; 01-Jan-2014 at 23:32.


  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: was killed on the King’s orders

    An excellent question. I think the answer is that in military jargon "order" and "orders" are used as synonyms. For example "I received an order ..." is pretty much the same as the same as "I received orders..." Whether the orders are singular or plural is insignificant. What matters is that they must be obeyed. So therefore you can use either"
    Last edited by probus; 02-Jan-2014 at 07:22.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: was killed on the King’s orders

    Quote Originally Posted by Vik-Nik-Sor View Post
    He was killed on the King’s orders.
    Longman dictionary
    I wonder why they use the plural -- "orders"...
    And would it be also correct to use the singular here?
    Thank you.
    What probus says is right. But I think in this case the singular could be thought to imply a single clear order: Kill that man.. On the other hand, the soldiers who killed Becket probably thought they were acting 'on the King's orders' although - according to contemporary sources - Henry II didn't spell out any particular order.

    b

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