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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    Plural or not?

    There are two native and a Vietnamese teacher at the school
    or
    There are two native and a Vietnamese teachers at the school
    ?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: Plural or not?

    It needs rephrasing:

    There are two native [teachers] and a [one] Vietnamese teacher at the school

    There are a Vietnamese and two native teachers at the school.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #3

    Re: Plural or not?

    How come we need to rephrase it?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: Plural or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    There are two native and a Vietnamese teacher at the school
    or
    There are two native and a Vietnamese teachers at the school
    ?
    The logic of the sentence requires that it be absolutely clear what you are referring to. It is not clear in either. By placing "a Vietnamese" before "two native", you can retain "teachers" and logical progression.

    The first sentence leaves a doubt - "two native what?"

    The second sentence with plural teachers following "a Vietnamese" is simply ungrammatical.


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    #5

    Re: Plural or not?

    So we have to rephase the word" teacher" again?


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    #6

    Re: Plural or not?

    And what is the difference between using "one" and "a"?

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #7

    Wink Re: Plural or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    And what is the difference between using "one" and "a"?
    If I were asked the question, I'd say it (the sentence) reads better with two teachers and one teacher rather than two teachers and a teacher; to me, it's also got to do with style and something that is referred to as parallel construction.


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    #8

    Re: Plural or not?

    I've never seen anyone replace "a" by "one" in that case

  2. blouen's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Plural or not?

    We use one when we need to be specific with the number but a if the number is not an issue.

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