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We were required to wear uniform on ____ school days.

A. normal
B. regular
C. common
D. ordinary

I think in a way the four options all work.
But the answer is regular.
Why?

  • 2
    There seems to be a myth being spread in many answers, to the effect that "uniform" is wrong in the original sentence. It isn't. "Uniform" can be used as an uncountable noun and is often used without an article ( dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/uniform ). However, I can't write my own answer because I don't know why your answer-sheet gave the answer as "regular". My answer would be either "ordinary" or "normal". "Regular" is primarily AmE. – rjpond Oct 12 '17 at 21:05
  • It reads as BrE not AmE, specifically as it has confused the Americans into thinking it should be uniforms. It shouldn’t in BrE & therefore should be A. normal. Regular in an AmE import now used to denominate what we used to call normal, or ‘small’ when referring to junk food. – gone fishin' again. Nov 3 '17 at 16:57
1

Your sentence should read, as Peter points out:

We were required to wear uniforms on ____ school days.

Having gone to a school where uniforms were mandatory, I believe the word you are seeking is normal. This is the word we employed at school.

The word normal in most cases can be used in place of the remaining three words: regular, common, and ordinary.

I would say that regular is not a good fix, especially if the school lodges students, since weekends are also considered "school days" at some schools, even if one does not attend classes.

Normal school days where days in which classes were held (Monday through Friday) and we made exception of days like Sports Day or Picnic Day. These sort of days were not normal days at our school and school attire was not enforced on students.

Regular school days to me gives to me a sense of time frame. Sports Day could still be a regular school day: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. But it is not a normal school as classes are suspended for the day!

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In your sentence

We were required to wear uniforms on ____ school days.

"uniform" should be plural since presumably the entire student body is being referred to.

All four options are possible

normal school days
regular school days
common school days
ordinary school days

"Normal", "regular", and "ordinary" have the meaning of "routine".

However "common" may have the meaning of "unified" or "joint" depending on how the school is structured. For example, if the "upper" school and "lower" schools are separate, when they are brought together it may be referred to as "common", or if there are "sister" schools, when they are brought together.

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  • Regular does not work in UK English. In UK English, 'regular' means that something is evenly shaped or happens at known and similar intervals. It does not mean 'common' or 'normal' as it does in American English. And Common and Ordinary also both sound a bit wierd in that context. If you said 'commonly, on schooldays' or 'ordinarily, on school days' or even better 'commonly, or ordinarily, on normal school days...' Then it starts to sound... correct. Even, dare I say it... normal. – Jelila Jan 31 '18 at 11:36
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With given options, even I'd go for 'regular.' Why?

When it comes to days:

  • A normal school day means that it was 'just normal,' and not hectic or something like that
  • The word common could be a close one but in the context of a school I incline toward regularity

  • Ordinary to me is the same as 'normal.' It was just an ordinary day - nothing special.

'Regular' is the only word I feel goes there. And, even in collocation 'regular uniform' is pretty common.

Check this:

I have two uniforms: regular and sports!

Place any of those words instead of 'regular,' in the given example, and you won't feel comfortable.

[In schools, regularity is of major concern!] :)

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  • 1
    A normal school day doesn’t mean anything like it was just normal, not hectic or something… anything being required necessarily means the dress for that day was planned. A hectic day will necessarily be both irregular and unplanned. Even today, most Brits always use normal where US Americans use regular. – Robbie Goodwin Sep 24 '17 at 15:55
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The sentence is grammatically incorrect, with any of the five options. The error is that there should either be a determiner (such as "a" or "the" or "our") before "uniform", or uniform should be plural ("uniforms"), or both ("our uniforms").

If we ignore the grammatical error, all five options are equally correct. (The fifth option is to omit the adjective.) If "we were not required to wear our uniforms" on special school days, I would expect the next sentence (or paragraph) to mention that. If the adjective were omitted, the sentence talking about the special school days would retroactively change the meaning of "on school days" to one of the other four phrases.

To my (American) ear, I would rank the "naturalness" of these options as follows, from most natural to less natural:

  1. "on school days"
  2. "on ordinary school days"
  3. "on regular school days"
  4. "on normal school days"
  5. "on common school days"

By the way, a "Normal School" used to be the name of a school that taught people how to be teachers. Some scientists and mathematicians divide things into "common" versus "special" cases, or "ordinary" versus "special" cases.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – J.R. Sep 21 '17 at 13:53

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