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  1. #1
    jasonlulu_2000 is offline Senior Member
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    British

    Here is from my textbook:" Charlie Chaplin brightened the lives of Americans and British through two world wars and the hard years in between."

    Is "British" a noun like "Americans"?

    Should it be "the British" instead? Also, can I use "life" instead of "lives" here as life can be uncountable, can't it?

    Thanks!

    Jason

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: British

    It should be 'the British'.

    I wouldn't use 'life'.

  3. #3
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: British

    Can you tell us the name of that book please?

  4. #4
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: British

    It's fine as it is. Americans means American people and British means British people. (We don't put an s on the end of British.) There's no need to use a definite article.

    Since we're talking about people (countable), then we are talking about their lives (not life).

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: British

    It does not look natural to me. When do we use an unqualified "British" to mean "British people"?
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: British

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    When do we use an unqualified "British" to mean "British people"?
    In cases such as this.

    The lack of a definite article produces a greater degree of generality. You could use the Americans and the British, but it doesn't sound right to me to use an article before one of the nouns and not the other.

  7. #7
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: British

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    Here is from my textbook:" Charlie Chaplin brightened the lives of Americans and British through two world wars and the hard years in between."
    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    It does not look natural to me. When do we use an unqualified "British" to mean "British people"?
    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    In cases such as this.

    The lack of a definite article produces a greater degree of generality. You could use the Americans and the British, but it doesn't sound right to me to use an article before one of the nouns and not the other.
    The usual plural demonym for British people is Britons. I think the original sentence was written by a non-native English speaker.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: British

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The usual plural demonym for British people is Britons. I think the original sentence was written by a non-native English speaker.
    Yes, good point. I agree that the use of Britons would make the phrasing less awkward.

    Interestingly, it seems to me that the use of the Britons doesn't quite sound right in the way that the Americans or the British does. Do others agree?

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: British

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Interestingly, it seems to me that the use of the Britons doesn't quite sound right in the way that the Americans or the British does. Do others agree?
    I do. You can say the British or Britons. (Note to learners: this is not my fault. )
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: British

    "Britons" is rarely used these days. I'd accept "brightened the lives of Americans and Brits". We frequently use "Brits" to mean "the British" or "British people".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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