I lighted upon a sentence in a survey that struck me as odd.

How many children are you parent or guardian for and live in your household?

Is it grammatical? I mean, can the indefinite article be legitimately omitted? And shouldn't it be "of" instead of "for", or does "for" also work in this context?

I thought the correct sentence would be:

How many children are you a parent of?


I'd say it is a little odd, but not ungrammatical. The article is not required here "He is parent of two happy children" is perfectly correct.

Normally you would use "parent of a child", but if I were to rewrite it I would use:

How many children do you have parental responsibility for? Include only those currently living in your household.

  • The sentence is ungrammatical, albeit for a different reason. "Children" are both the subject and the object in this sentence. Whatever you wrote about the article and the preposition does apply, but the sentence really should be split into two different clauses. It's not that "it's better if we make two clauses out of this"—it's not just better, it's kind of a must. – tenebris2020 Feb 16 '18 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.