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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 6
    #1

    Please help

    Hello,

    This is my first time posting. I was reading an article from the BBC website recently and came across a sentence that I am unsure of. The sentence says:

    The identity of the attackers is not yet clear.

    My question is why is it not "The identities of the attackers are not yet clear" since the attackers do not share the same identity?

    I would appreciate very much if someone can clear my doubts.

    Thanks.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 6
    #2

    Re: Please help

    In case it is needed, the article can be found here: BBC Learning English | Oil companies attacked in Nigeria

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #3

    Re: Please help

    Welcome, trend7.

    In that context, identity is being used to refer to a group; e.g., the group's identity.

    All the best.

  4. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 6
    #4

    Re: Please help

    Thanks a lot Casiopea.

    However prior to that statement, haven't the article already mentioned that the attack was the work of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)? Hence, the identity of the group should be MEND, am I right?

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: Please help

    Ah, right. Sorry about that, trend7.

    OK. In that case, then, the structure follows like this,

    Ex: The color of the books
    Ex: The size of the rooms
    Ex: The description of the people

    Hope that helps.

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