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I am going to make up two sentences below.

  1. All the different computers in this section are or have the same price.

  2. These watches have or are different designs.

I have heard people use either choice when I shop in stores.

Which one is actually correct - are or have?

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  • Can you tell us which verb you believe is correct, and why? If you have done any research on your own, please use the edit link to add it to your question. This helps us to provide a useful answer! Jun 24, 2017 at 5:21
  • @P.E.Dant Are you from UK or US. I always notice that you add "to" after the verb help. I never do it. Jun 24, 2017 at 8:09
  • @SovereignSun I think can you use either bare infinitive or to-infinitive; both are correct.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 24, 2017 at 12:30
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    Help is used with or without the preposition. I don't believe it's idiomatic to omit or include it in any vernacular. Jun 24, 2017 at 16:46

1 Answer 1

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Both solutions are possible in the first sentence. Both of them mean the same thing.

  • All the different computers in this section are/have the same price.

However, with the second sentence it is grammatically correct to add the preposition "of" after are:

  • These watches are of/have different designs.

It just happens that the word you picked for this example, "designs", has multiple meanings. "Design" can refer to either the scheme for how the components of the watch will work, or a decorative pattern applied to the watch. So if it is used with have, the meaning of the sentence would depend on the context. If are of is used, it could have only the first meaning.

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    The "of" might be technically correct, but almost never used in speech in this context (at least in AmE). That said, "are of different designs" probably wouldn't sound strange if someone said it. "Are of the same price" actually sounds off; I'd have to think about why. Maybe it's because in this context, "of" is associated with being part of something larger or a set, and "the same price" doesn't fit. But even "are of different prices" doesn't sound natural. Not sure why
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2017 at 8:26
  • @fixer1234 I'd like your answer then with a full research, since that's what I learned from books. However, I can see what you mean. The "of" may indeed be overused in the first example. Jun 24, 2017 at 8:35
  • Maybe one of the English majors can explain why "price" is different from design. I can't see a rule that would make it different, but for some reason, it sounds off to my native ear. In the second sentence, the "of" might be included in formal or technical writing, but it wouldn't typically be included in everyday speech. It's probably just the routine dropping of words unnecessary to the meaning.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2017 at 8:44
  • @fixer1234 Without "of" it reads like, these watches aren't watches - they are different designs (of watches maybe) Jun 24, 2017 at 8:48
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    It relies on context. If you said "These watches are zebras", that would clearly mean they weren't watches. "Design" is a property of watches (and other man-made things), so there's no reason to assume it doesn't refer to a property of the watch. "These watches are different designs" is assumed to mean "These watches are of different designs." "These watches have different designs" could be used in speech to refer to either the same meaning as "are of"), or to artistic patterns on the watches. It would be ambiguous without some other context.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 24, 2017 at 9:13

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