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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Can I write this down?

    Can I write "Plant cells have cell walls."on the exam paper?My teacher's anwser is"Plant cells have a cell wall."A plant cell has a cell wall,so I think many cells have many cell walls.But why there is an 'a' in the answer?


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    #2

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by NGKEVEN View Post
    Can I write "Plant cells have cell walls."on the exam paper?My teacher's anwser is"Plant cells have a cell wall."A plant cell has a cell wall,so I think many cells have many cell walls.But why there is an 'a' in the answer?
    I see your point. Both versions are accepted English.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Plant cells (in general) have a cell wall (one cell wall).
    Dogs (in general) have a tail, a head and 4 legs.


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    #4

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Plant cells (in general) have a cell wall (one cell wall).
    Dogs (in general) have a tail, a head and 4 legs.
    (More than one) plant cells have (more than one) cell walls.

    Logic aside, both are accepted.

    'Plant cells have walls' means either one plant has several walls or one plant has one wall or several plants have one wall they 'use jointly'. It is in the shared knowledge of the speaker and the hearer what is meant by this sentence, so I think both the singular and plural work. As long as the plural/singular usage does not go to the detriment of coherence, use either of them.
    Last edited by svartnik; 12-Jan-2009 at 10:12. Reason: added more info

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    #5

    Re: Can I write this down?

    just a student.
    I think that the cell wall is considered one structure only. its format is spherical, it has no sides and it doesn't have the format of a cube. it's a continuous structure, like he skin of an egg.
    just a student.


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    #6

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    just a student.
    I think that the cell wall is considered one structure only.
    So does anybody else, myself included.
    (anatomy) a layer (a lining or membrane) that encloses a structure
    You are missing my point.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    So does anybody else, myself included.
    (anatomy) a layer (a lining or membrane) that encloses a structure
    You are missing my point.
    No, I think that you are missing our point which is, when one speaks about 'cell walls' one is speaking about cells in general and cells in general have one cell wall.

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    #8

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    So does anybody else, myself included.
    (anatomy) a layer (a lining or membrane) that encloses a structure
    You are missing my point.
    no need to be angry. I agree with you, as you seem to agree with Bhaisahab.
    I took the opportunity to exercise my writing, even without adding anything new to the post.
    regards!


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    #9

    Re: Can I write this down?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    no need to be angry. I agree with you, as you seem to agree with Bhaisahab.
    I took the opportunity to exercise my writing, even without adding anything new to the post.
    regards!
    Angry? I do not even know the meaning of the word.

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