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    #1

    Using singular or plural?

    I have two questions. Can someone tell me please we should use plural or singular form and why?

    1. 'A child is someone who is very young. When we're talking about more than one children, we use plural, children.'
    Hrer we should use 'more than one child' or 'more than one children'?

    2. 'How many brothers or sisters do you have?'
    'I have no brothers or sisters, I'm an only-child.'
    'I have no brothers(?) or sisters(?)' doesn't seem to be logic to me, just like saying 'I don't have any brothers or sisters' doesn't make sense to me, since I don't have any one, why do we say 'brothers or sisters'?

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    #2

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by heidi View Post
    i have two questions. Can someone tell me please we should use plural or singular form and why?

    1. 'a child is someone who is very young. When we're talking about more than one children, we use plural, children.'
    hrer we should use 'more than one child' or 'more than one children'? child

    2. 'how many brothers or sisters do you have?' you can also just answer 'none' .
    'i have no brothers or sisters, i'm an only-child.'
    'i have no brothers(?) or sisters(?)' doesn't seem to be logic to me, just like saying 'i don't have any brothers or sisters' doesn't make sense to me, since i don't have any one, why do we say 'brothers or sisters'?
    you have to mention both because you were asked about both, or you can say 'i don't have any siblings.' "siblings" includes brothers and sisters.
    2006

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Strangely, the zero number, expressed with no, is often treated as a plural in English. "No exceptions." "No sandals." "No dogs".... It seems illogical to me too, though my ear tells me it is the most normal way to say it, in English.

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    #4

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Hi Heidi

    1. more than one children

    Quantifiers agree in number with their noun. So, for example, one child, two children, three children, and so on.
    2. no brothers or sisters
    Adjectival no means not one of a group of many; e.g, no shoes, not *no shoe.

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    #5

    Thumbs up Re: Using singular or plural?

    Thanks a lot to all of you!

    one more question please,

    'There _____ no exceptions to this rule.'
    'There _____ no dogs on the street.'

    Should I fill is or are in the blanks?


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    #6

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi Heidi

    1. more than one children
    There is more than one way to skin a cat. The notional value of 'more than one' is plural to me.
    I am not quite sure the use of a plural verb is unpardonable.


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    #7

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Thanks a lot to all of you!

    one more question please,

    'There _____ no exceptions to this rule.'
    'There _____ no dogs on the street.'

    Should I fill is or are in the blanks?
    Apply the plural.

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    #8

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Thanks a lot to all of you!

    one more question please,

    'There _____ no exceptions to this rule.'
    'There _____ no dogs on the street.'

    Should I fill is or are in the blanks?
    Well, both exceptions and dogs are plural nouns, so they should agree in number with their verb: are.

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    #9

    Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Well, both exceptions and dogs are plural nouns, so they should agree in number with their verb: are.
    Yes, but when you're multi-lingual, you notice that English is alone in treating NO dogs, NO exceptions, i.e. zero, as a plural in any case. Other languages treat zero number nouns with a special or singular verb, so when learners from other languages encounter our "No dogs are allowed" rather than the theoretically better "No dog is allowed" [sic] they are shocked. So I find it helpful to admit English is strange on this point and they accept that, and move on knowing what to write.

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    #10

    Smile Re: Using singular or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    2. no brothers or sisters
    Adjectival no means not one of a group of many; e.g, no shoes, not *no shoe.
    As usual, there appears to be an exception to the rule:

    Mum to her child: Where's your other shoe, Zoe?
    Zoe: It's behind the bed, Mum.
    Mum: Where exactly? There is no shoe behind the bed. (rather than There are no shoes behind the bed.)


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