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Do the sentences below sound natural?

I have a brother and a sister. He's 16 and she's 14.

Or should you say, 'My brother is 16 and my sister is 14.'?

  • 3
    Both of those sentences sound fine. – Angela Feb 22 '14 at 23:28
  • As Angela's comment (née answer) says, it's fine. He and she unambiguously refer back to brother and sister respectively. – snailboat Feb 23 '14 at 0:56
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    As things stand, it's "unclear what you're asking". Can you explain why you think the first version might not be "natural"? For example, are you bothered that the (semantic) links between he/she and brother/sister might not be strong enough to justify the "backward reference"? – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '14 at 1:16
  • Thank you for the comments. Sorry, I know I was not clear enough. I didn't know how to write it. I was told that it's strange to say "He's 16 and she's 14" in parallel. He said I should say "I have a brother and a sister. The brother is 16 and the sister is 14." But it didn't sound right to me, but I couldn't explain it clearly. – Umeco Feb 23 '14 at 2:55
  • Okay, another way - I have a brother and a sister aged 16 and 14 respectively. – Maulik V Feb 24 '14 at 5:52
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There are many ways of saying siblings' ages.

  • I have a brother and a sister. He's 16 and she's 14.
  • I have a brother and a sister. He is 16 years old and she is 14.
  • I have a brother who's 16 years old, and a sister who's 14.
  • I have a brother, 16 years old, and a sister who's 14.
  • I have a 16-year-old brother and a sister who's 14.
  • I have a brother and a sister. My brother is 16 and my sister is 14.

All of the above are grammatically correct. The second example is a longer version than the first, but the OP's original sentence sounds more natural because it contains contractions. Just be careful though to never make these typical Italian learners mistakes:

I have a brother and a sister. He has 16 years and she has 14 year * = NO!

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