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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    a whole sister / a half brother

    Will it be proper English if I teach my students to say "a whole sister" and "a half brother" about their family members (as it is in the sentence below)?

    I have a very big family through divorce and remarriage; not only do I have a half brother and a half sister, a whole sister and two step brothers; I have a family across the world.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    Usually you would refer to your "full sister" rather than a "whole sister" (in my experience) and mention her before the half-brother and haf-sister. Also, I'd expect to hear which was dad's side and which was mom's.

    I not only have a full sister, but also a half-brother and half-sister on my dad's side, and two step-brothers from my mom's second marriage. I have family around the world.

    Use "family" in the uncountable sense.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Usually you would refer to your "full sister" rather than a "whole sister"
    3. Having the same parents: a whole sister. ── quoted from http://www.yourdictionary.com/whole
    May it be common in some regions?

  4. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    Hi Barb.

    Is it I am not only have ... or I not only have ..., please?

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    The former should be ungrammatical.

    Not a teacher.

  6. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother


    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Hi englishhobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    a whole sister/a half brother
    Note that you don't need to put a space either side of a slash (/).
    (ems)

  7. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    3. Having the same parents: a whole sister. ── quoted from http://www.yourdictionary.com/whole
    May it be common in some regions?
    I can safely say that I've never heard it used that way. (I'm from the notheastern US.)

  8. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    Ironically it was quoted from the American Heritage Dictionary.

    Not a teacher.

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    It's far more valid to look up the full term. Looking up 'whole' and getting an illustrative sentence is not as convincing as looking up "whole brother" and getting a definition. In any case, I vote for full brother too.

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...h/full-brother

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: a whole sister / a half brother

    I've never heard "whole" brother/sister either.

    I am an only child so I've never needed to express this, although I do have a stepbrother and stepsister (no half-siblings though).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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