is or are?

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Dawood Usmani

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which one is correct?
1. Most insects have six legs. Their bodies are divided into three parts e.g. head, thorax and abdomen.
2. Most insects have six legs. Their body is divided into three parts e.g. head, thorax and abdomen.
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Dawood :lilangel:
 

Snowcake

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I would tend to the second sentence. You are talking about the anatomy of insects in general, thus singular is enough.

2. Most insects have six legs. Their body is divided into three parts e.g. head, thorax and abdomen.

You could say, the segments of the body are diveded into three parts/regions ...

I would leave out 'eg', this implies that there could be another segments.
 

Dawood Usmani

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I would tend to the second sentence. You are talking about the anatomy of insects in general, thus singular is enough.

2. Most insects have six legs. Their body is divided into three parts e.g. head, thorax and abdomen.

You could say, the segments of the body are diveded into three parts/regions ...

I would leave out 'eg', this implies that there could be another segments.
What if I write "their bodies are..."? Will it be incorrect?
Regards!
Dawood
 

BobK

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...
I would leave out 'eg', this implies that there could be [an]other segments.

I wouldn't be so forgiving;-) - as it is wrong. People often make the mistake of writing 'e.g.' (exempli gratia - 'for the benefit of an example') when they mean 'i.e.' (id est - 'that is'). The way around this is to avoid Latin abbreviations - especially when they aren't necessary!

b
 

Dawood Usmani

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I wouldn't be so forgiving;-) - as it is wrong. People often make the mistake of writing 'e.g.' (exempli gratia - 'for the benefit of an example') when they mean 'i.e.' (id est - 'that is'). The way around this is to avoid Latin abbreviations - especially when they aren't necessary!

b
But what bout my original question? Wouldn't you bekind enough to clear my confusion and answer to what I'm asking please?
Looking forward to the answer...
Best regards!
Dawood
 

Snowcake

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To me, if you write 'bodies', it sounds as if an insect can have more than one body. Even if it is clear that this is not true. ;-) I would not say this is generally incorrect. However, if you look at typical descriptions of animals, you often find these terms in singular, not in plural.

Just my humble opinion. ;-)
 

BobK

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But what bout my original question? Wouldn't you bekind enough to clear my confusion and answer to what I'm asking please?
Looking forward to the answer...
Best regards!
Dawood

I agree with Snowcake [not for the first time - I must learn to keep out of these discussions!] - as you're making a general (taxonomical) observation, the singular is OK. I've heard the plural used here too though, and although I would use it myself I wouldn't accuse it of being 'wrong'.

b
 

David L.

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I remember my English teacher telling us, that our language is rich enough to avoid such dilemmas. It also cuts down on short sentences to write:

All insects have six legs, with the body divided into three parts, namely, head, thorax and abdomen.
 
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