Traffic lights

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Grablevskij

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Traffic lights seem to be plural, don't they.

When we stopped at some traffic lights, he lit up.

So instead of indefinite article we are to use some, right?

Michael
 
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Anglika

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Yes - by their nature traffic lights have two or three lights, so must always be plural.
 

vil

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Hi Grablevskji,

I beg to differ.

Traffic light (singular)

A road signal for directing vehicular traffic by means of colored lights, typically red for stop, green for go, and yellow for proceed with caution. Also called stoplight, traffic signal.

A traffic signal, or stoplight as it is also known, controls vehicle traffic passing through the intersection of two or more roadways by giving a visual indication to drivers when to proceed, when to slow, and when to stop.

A modern traffic signal system consists of three basic subsystems: the signal lights in their housing, the supporting arms or poles, and the electric controller. The signal lights and housing are known as the signal light stack. A single stack usually consists of three lights: a green light on the bottom to indicate the traffic may proceed, a yellow light in the middle to warn traffic to slow and prepare to stop, and a red light on the top to indicate the traffic must stop.

A traffic light, also known as a traffic signal, stop light, traffic lamp, stop-and-go lights, robot or semaphore, is a signaling device positioned at a road intersection, pedestrian crossing or other location in order to indicate which specific movement to drive, ride or walk is assigned the right-of-way at a given moment, using a universal color code (and a precise sequence, for those that are color blind).


Regards.

V.
 

Grablevskij

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Stoplight is American and informal. Traffic lights are Ok for British English.

My dictionary allowes me to use this phrase in the plural as well as in the singular. I suppose I would use it in the singular as I am also allowed to. But as I seriously study English, I would like to know some nuances. And Anglika confirmed my supposition to be right.

Michael
 

vil

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Dear Michael,

I know that there are such recording in different dictionaries as traffic lights and pedestrian lights. For example I might read in Oxford Advanced Learner's
Dictionary of current English the following definition: traffic light(s) = mechanical signal controlling road traffic (especially at junctions) by colored lights (red, amber, green) .

I think you have to follow the voice of the sound reasoning.

Regards.

V.
 

Grablevskij

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Sometimes it is good to know more than you use in order not to make an unfair judgement. For example if you are a teacher.

Michael
 
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