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    #1

    Speed Limits Vary, Speed Limit Varies

    Let's say each city has its own city-wide speed limit:


    1. "The speed limit varies between cities."
    2. "The speed limits vary between cities."


    Definition 1 for "vary" of this dictionary which reads:


    "to be different in different situations"


    , which implies that a single characteristic, without it belonging to a specific thing, is being talked about, so sentence 1 should be the correct one.

    But, definition 1a of the same dictionary reads:

    "if two or more things vary, they are different from each other"


    which implies that two or more characteristics, each belonging to a separate thing, are being talked about. So sentence 2 seems to be the correct one. What do native speakers think?
    Last edited by learningspirit; 01-Jun-2015 at 09:24.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Speed Limits Vary, Speed Limit Varies

    I would accept 1.
    I would prefer 2 without the initial "the".

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    #3

    Re: Speed Limits Vary, Speed Limit Varies

    So, both versions are standard English?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Speed Limits Vary, Speed Limit Varies

    Yes, I would accept either one.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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