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  1. #1
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Difference in nuance: plural vs singular

    Dear native speakers,

    Suppose that there are 100 students in front of you, and each student has a computer.

    Q1. Under this circumstance, if the following are stated, what would each actually mean?

    1. See there is a dot on your screen.
    2. See there are dots on your screens.
    3. See there is a dot on your screens.

    Q2. If a dot (only one dot) is shown on each student's computer screen, which of the above three would be a correct sentence?
    Last edited by gorikaz; 20-Jan-2008 at 10:21.

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Difference in nuance: plural vs singular

    Dear gorikaz, it depends on how your is interpreted:

    1. There is a dot on your screen. [singular]
    => viewing the students as invididuals

    2. There are dots on your screens.
    => more than one dot

    3. There is a dot on your screens. [plural]
    => viewing the students as a collective, each of whom has a screen; therefore, screens.

    Hope that helps.

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