The demonstrators had a flower in their hands.

azz

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
United States
a. The demonstrators had a flower in their hands.
b. The demonstrators had a flower in their hand.
c. The demonstrators had flowers in their hand.

Are these sentences grammatically correct?

In (a) each of then might be holding a single flower with both hands. But could the sentence be used if each is holding one flower with one hand?

I think (b) makes it clear that each is holding one flower in one hand. But is 'their hand' correct?

I guess (c) makes it clear that they were holding the flower or the flowers in one hand, but could it be used if they each had one flower?
 

Barque

Banned
Joined
Nov 3, 2022
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
India
Current Location
Singapore
Sentences a and b are unnatural.

Sentence c is ungrammatical but would work if you used "hands".

What do you want to say? Do you want to say they were each holding a single flower, or that they were all holding flowers?
 

azz

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
United States
Thank you very much Barque.

I just wanted to figure out what the sentences meant. I use one that isn't there, but you seem to recommend.
The demonstrators had flowers in their hands.
 

Barque

Banned
Joined
Nov 3, 2022
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
India
Current Location
Singapore
The demonstrators had flowers in their hands.
This works. Each demonstrator may have been holding a single flower or multiple flowers.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You could say each held a single flower to indicate that.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: azz
Top