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    #1

    Question Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    Men and the animals alike are all subject to the law of nature.
    or
    Men and the animals alike are both subject to the law of nature.

    Which sentence is correct? Or both are good?
    Thanks a lot!

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2
    I am not a teacher.

    I think that it's tautological to use "both" and "alike" to refer to the same two groups.

    I would probably change this to,
    "Men and animals alike are subject to the laws of nature."

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    #3
    "All animals, including humans, are subject to the laws of nature."
    I don't think science knows yet whether there is a grand Law that covers everything, so I prefer "laws".

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    #4
    Note the two inappropriate ideas that Ray, rightly, corrected: 'men' - humans; humans = not animals.

    I must have been half asleep not to spot those.

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    #5

    Re: Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    I don't believe it to be an error to distinguish between man and animals. This isn't a biology class.

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    #6

    Re: Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I don't believe it to be an error to distinguish between man and animals. This isn't a biology class.
    This forum isn't a biology class, but the sentence may belong in one. How to express this depends on how it's to be used. Yes, there might be a context in which a person who does not accept that humans are animals or have evolved from other animals would want to make a distinction. But in this case, the writer seems not to want to make that distinction, saying that they are alike in this sense.

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    #7

    Re: Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    I think there are numerous contexts, if not most contexts, where the difference between men and animals is made.

    Even those who accept evolution have to admit that there are differences between the two.

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    #8

    Re: Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I think there are numerous contexts, if not most contexts, where the difference between men and animals is made.

    Even those who accept evolution have to admit that there are differences between the two.
    There are differences between human and non-human animals. That's obvious. I find the phrase "the difference between men and animals" a bit like "the difference between women and humans". I don't have a problem with "the difference between man and other animals". But naturally, your beliefs about this sort of thing would influence the way you expressed it. When I gave my sentence, I didn't think that the author wanted to make the point that humans were not animals. But I agree that it's a semantically interesting question about how the word 'animal' is used.

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    #9

    Re: Men and the animals alike are 'all' (or 'both') subject to the law of nature

    I agree that context is the most important thing.

    If I read something that just talked about "animals" I would not, in most cases, assume that it also applied to humans.

    My "default" understanding of "animals" is of a class of creatures that excludes humans. If I went to the theater, for example, and someone asked me if there were any "animals" in the show I would not say "yes" thinking of all of the human actors.

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