How to ask about siblings

Status
Not open for further replies.

optimistic pessimist

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
Dear all,

When you ask someone if they have siblings, how do you ask?

1 Do you have any brothers or sisters?
2 Do you have any brothers and sisters?
3 Do you have any siblings?

Of the three above, which is common?

Thank you!

OP
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Dear all,

When you ask someone if they have siblings, how do you ask?

1 Do you have any brothers or sisters? Somewhere in the middle!
2 Do you have any brothers and sisters? Most common
3 Do you have any siblings? Least common

Of the three above, which is common?

Thank you!

OP

We use all three, as well as "Have you got any brothers and sisters?"
 

Heterological

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Perhaps this is a BrE/AmE distinction, but I disagree. I wouldn't use "and" with a question beginning with, "do you have any..." I think the most common form is, "do you have any brothers or sisters?" followed by "do you have any siblings?" You can also ask whether someone is "an only child," meaning s/he has no siblings.
 
Last edited:

optimistic pessimist

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
Hi, Heterological
Thanks for your help.

Perhaps this is a BrE/AmE distinction, but I disagree. I wouldn't use "and" with a question beginning with, "do you have any..." I think the most common form is, "do you have any brothers or sisters?" followed by "do you have any siblings?" You can also ask whether someone is "an only child," meaning s/he has no siblings.

I think this BrE/ AmE distinction interesting. If the question is "How many ... do you have?", is it okay using "brothers and sisters"?

OP
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
If the question is "How many ... do you have?", is it okay using "brothers and sisters"?

OP

Yes, but only if you had first learned that the person had at least a few. For example, he may have said something like "I come from a large family" and you reply with "Oh really? How many brothers and sisters do you have."

Even if they were all boys, that sounds more natural to me.

However, I agree with "Do you have any..." that I would use the "or" version.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top