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Ananas
Need help about the singular and the plural form of an object. Which do you think is right about the singular and plural form of an object in the sentences below. And what make the difference to classify them. The kind explanation is much appreciated :) Thank you! A1."People walk a long way." A2."People walk long ways." B1."People live a happy life." B2."People live happy lives." C1."People get water for daily use." C2."People get water for daily uses." D1."People get water for many use." D2."People get water for many uses."
Jan 27, 2016 1:03 AM
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A1."People walk a long way." A2."People walk long ways." For this one, the A2 doesn't make sense to mean the same thing as A1. A2 means something like There are ways that are long, and ways that are short, and the people take the long ones. It wouldn't be used like this in normal speech, I think. A1 is correct because of a group of people are taking one road, for a long time. I think this is what you mean here. B1."People live a happy life." B2."People live happy lives." B2 makes more sense in this case, because unlike in A, where many people can take one road, many people do not live the same life, they live individual lives. Both are grammatical and make sense in regular speech, however. You would say "One lives a happy life". C1."People get water for daily use." C2."People get water for daily uses." This is a bit different, because both are correct but mean slightly different things. C1 means that water is used for general use every single day. Like, all the different uses all put together is "daily use" or "general use". C2 connotes that the water is used for specific daily tasks. Like People get water for daily showers and washing dishes. I'm not entirely sure why actually, but when it is singular in this case, it is more general than the plural, even thought they end up meaning the same. D1."People get water for many use." D2."People get water for many uses." D2 is the only correct one here. "Use" can be used in the singular to talk about general use, like "put to good use" or "general use" or "daily use" or "weekly use". BUT since you use the word "many" here, you MUST use the plural, because there are many specific tasks that are being done. I know this is confusing, and as a native speaker I had some trouble explaining. Please ask if anything is unclear in my answer.
January 27, 2016
A, B and C are perfect examples of how English grammar can be a bit "fuzzy". A1."People walk a long way." A2."People walk long ways." Honestly I think there's mostly no difference. Some people would prefer A1, others A2. The only situation I can think of where A2 is incorrect is if the "people" all make the same journey, eg. "The worshippers walked a long way from the bottom of the path to the top of the holy mountain" B1."People live a happy life." B2."People live happy lives." I prefer B2, but B1 could be better if you consider "happiness" to be the same for everyone (ie. food, peace, shelter, etc.) "Everyone on earth wants a happy life for their children": here the singular sounds better, because we're really talking about "life" in an abstract way. I don't want to confuse you too much, though. The difference is very subtle and honestly not that important. I would prefer B2 in most contexts. C1."People get water for daily use." C2."People get water for daily uses." Rachel's absolutely right. "for daily use" is a fixed expression, it just means "to use every day". "Daily uses" = for specific tasks. "People get water for daily uses such as cleaning and drinking" - here only the plural is possible. They're both acceptable, but mean quite different things. D1."People get water for many use." D2."People get water for many uses." This one's clear - only D2 is correct. There's no context in which "many use" is correct.
January 27, 2016
Hi there. Er... I just saw two Very Long answers below. Thanks for your question, I can know which ones are correct now.
January 27, 2016
Ananas
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Japanese, Russian
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Russian