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  1. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #1

    Traffic lights

    Traffic lights seem to be plural, don't they.

    When we stopped at some traffic lights, he lit up.

    So instead of indefinite article we are to use some, right?

    Michael
    Last edited by Grablevskij; 29-Jan-2008 at 16:03.


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    #2

    Re: Traffic lights

    Yes - by their nature traffic lights have two or three lights, so must always be plural.

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    #3

    Re: Traffic lights

    Hi Grablevskji,

    I beg to differ.

    Traffic light (singular)

    A road signal for directing vehicular traffic by means of colored lights, typically red for stop, green for go, and yellow for proceed with caution. Also called stoplight, traffic signal.

    A traffic signal, or stoplight as it is also known, controls vehicle traffic passing through the intersection of two or more roadways by giving a visual indication to drivers when to proceed, when to slow, and when to stop.

    A modern traffic signal system consists of three basic subsystems: the signal lights in their housing, the supporting arms or poles, and the electric controller. The signal lights and housing are known as the signal light stack. A single stack usually consists of three lights: a green light on the bottom to indicate the traffic may proceed, a yellow light in the middle to warn traffic to slow and prepare to stop, and a red light on the top to indicate the traffic must stop.

    A traffic light, also known as a traffic signal, stop light, traffic lamp, stop-and-go lights, robot or semaphore, is a signaling device positioned at a road intersection, pedestrian crossing or other location in order to indicate which specific movement to drive, ride or walk is assigned the right-of-way at a given moment, using a universal color code (and a precise sequence, for those that are color blind).


    Regards.

    V.

  2. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Traffic lights

    Stoplight is American and informal. Traffic lights are Ok for British English.

    My dictionary allowes me to use this phrase in the plural as well as in the singular. I suppose I would use it in the singular as I am also allowed to. But as I seriously study English, I would like to know some nuances. And Anglika confirmed my supposition to be right.

    Michael

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    #5

    Re: Traffic lights

    Dear Michael,

    I know that there are such recording in different dictionaries as traffic lights and pedestrian lights. For example I might read in Oxford Advanced Learner's
    Dictionary of current English the following definition: traffic light(s) = mechanical signal controlling road traffic (especially at junctions) by colored lights (red, amber, green) .

    I think you have to follow the voice of the sound reasoning.

    Regards.

    V.

  3. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Traffic lights

    Sometimes it is good to know more than you use in order not to make an unfair judgement. For example if you are a teacher.

    Michael

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