Tang Lei
Please help. some words about human's body. I have got some questions about some words of human's body. 1 how many should do a man have ? two or one ? Is there a left shoulder or a right shoulder? 2 Hair is a countable or uncountable noun ? In dictionary it says hair is an uncountable noun. but some times I saw there is a "a" appeared before "hair" 3 Why "toothbrush" ? Not teethbrush. I see that teether anf toother are both acceptable. But when we talk about brush, why don't say teethbrush. 4 We got a thumb, a index finger, a middle finger, a third finger, the little finger on one of our hands. Can we count a thumb as a finger. If no, why people always say we have five fingers, if yes why the third finger called the third finger but not tje fourth finger. I am recently learning these simple words with my son, but a little confused with these words. Thank you for your comments in advance.
Nov 16, 2019 3:10 PM
Answers · 5
1 - people have two shoulders. And yes one is the left shoulder on the left side of your body and the other is the right shoulder. 2 - a hair is a single hair. Hairs is countable (for example: three hairs) and hair is uncountable (the man has a lot of hair on his head) 3 - A toothbrush is used to brush your teeth plural or could be used to brush a single tooth 4 - yes the thumb is a finger. What you refer to as the third finger is called the ring finger and is really the fourth finger. So from the inside outwards you have the: thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger (also commonly called the pinky finger in American English) Hope this helps!
November 16, 2019
There’s an old joke about toothbrush/teethbrush: Q: How do you know that the toothbrush was invented in [insert name of rural, unsophisticated state/province/area]? A: Anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush. The joke is that most people from [rural area] have lost all but one of their teeth.
November 16, 2019
Darrel's response answers most of your questions. It seems to me it is all about emphasis. If I want to count fingers on a hand, I just count five. If I want to, for some reason emphasise the thumb is different, I call it a thumb. Should I want to contrast the left with the right, I can do so. Otherwise, shuoulders. Be it on your shoulders how you use it. I see that teether anf toother are both acceptable. <-- no clue whatthis means. Never heard of either, "teether" nor "toother". We have a thumb, ... I have recently been learning .... Why? - That's English. All languages have historic remants, the way that was adopted. YOu can make up rules to cover most cases, or all cases, but in the end they simply describe what has been accepted as a convention for mutual understanding.
November 16, 2019
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Tang Lei
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language