1

Is it okay in English to refer to multiple similar periods of times by a singular noun with the definite article preceding it?

For example, is it okay to say:

Judging by her common reactions in the lesson, I could tell that her listening comprehension was constantly growing this year.

instead of

Judging by her common reactions in lessons, I could tell that her listening comprehension was constantly growing this year.

?

1 Answer 1

2

Your first example refers to multiple reactions in a single lesson, unless you qualify it to be something like:

Judging by her common reactions in the lesson I taught each week ...

Separate to your question, I'm assuming that, by 'common reactions', you meant frequent (positive/valuable/correct) responses, in which case it'd be better to phrase it like that. Also, 'improving' would make more sense than 'growing'.

3
  • Sorry, I forgot to add "this year" in the end of my example. Just edited. Would it still be taken as a single lesson this way? Also, by "reactions" I wanted to imply mainly her facial expressions (smile, surprise, indifference, etc.) to what her teacher was saying during lessons. Would "responses" still be a better choice in that case?
    – brilliant
    May 30, 2019 at 22:56
  • I’m afraid lesson in the singular would still be wrong. For her reactions, you need to be more specific, such as by writing ‘her visible, timely reactions to the audio’.
    – ben
    May 30, 2019 at 22:59
  • 1
    I see. Thank you.
    – brilliant
    May 30, 2019 at 23:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .