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  1. #1
    Heidi L's Avatar
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    Question 'an' average human or 'the' average human?

    Dear teachers,

    In the following sentences,

    - I know the average human needs about eight hours of sleep, and this very large animal (referring to a giraffe) only needs twenty to two hours? That's incredible!

    Here, 'the' average human or 'an' average human, which sounds natural to your ears?

    I found some interesting sentences at http://www.did-you-knows.com/d...ow-facts/average.php. It seems that 'the' average human/person is more common.

    - The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.
    - An average person will spend 25 years asleep.
    - The average hen lays 228 eggs a year.
    - The average person laughs 10 times a day.
    - The average person will consume 100 tons of food and 45,424 liters of water in their lifetime.
    - The average person goes to the toilet 6 times a day.

    When we're referring to an ordinary person/human, not a specific one, why do we say 'the' instead of 'an' average person?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: 'an' average human or 'the' average human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi L View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In the following sentences,

    - I know the average human needs about eight hours of sleep, and this very large animal (referring to a giraffe) only needs twenty to two hours? That's incredible!

    Here, 'the' average human or 'an' average human, which sounds natural to your ears?

    I found some interesting sentences at http://www.did-you-knows.com/d...ow-facts/average.php. It seems that 'the' average human/person is more common.

    - The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.
    - An average person will spend 25 years asleep.
    - The average hen lays 228 eggs a year.
    - The average person laughs 10 times a day.
    - The average person will consume 100 tons of food and 45,424 liters of water in their lifetime.
    - The average person goes to the toilet 6 times a day.

    When we're referring to an ordinary person/human, not a specific one, why do we say 'the' instead of 'an' average person?

    Thank you!
    "an" works fine for me.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: 'an' average human or 'the' average human?

    Either is fine.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: 'an' average human or 'the' average human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi L View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In the following sentences,

    - I know the average human needs about eight hours of sleep, and this very large animal (referring to a giraffe) only needs twenty to two hours? That's incredible!

    Here, 'the' average human or 'an' average human, which sounds natural to your ears?

    I found some interesting sentences at http://www.did-you-knows.com/d...ow-facts/average.php. It seems that 'the' average human/person is more common.

    - The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.
    - An average person will spend 25 years asleep.
    - The average hen lays 228 eggs a year.
    - The average person laughs 10 times a day.
    - The average person will consume 100 tons of food and 45,424 liters of water in their lifetime.
    - The average person goes to the toilet 6 times a day.

    When we're referring to an ordinary person/human, not a specific one, why do we say 'the' instead of 'an' average person?

    Thank you!
    There is an error in your first sentence. I assume you meant "twenty minutes to two hours".

  5. #5
    Heidi L's Avatar
    Heidi L is offline Member
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    Re: 'an' average human or 'the' average human?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    There is an error in your first sentence. I assume you meant "twenty minutes to two hours".
    Sorry. It should be 'twenty minutes to two hours'.

    Thank you!

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