1

With a quick Google search it is clearly evident that the singular version (a new car) is more fitting than the plural one (new cars) in the questions below. Bear in mind the question is addressed to the average person.

Singular:

How often do you buy a new car?

Plural:

How often do you buy new cars?

The question is can either one be used, and if so which is more natural?

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  • Grammatically, either one is OK. Logically, more context is needed.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:29
  • Nothing special. Either a friend or a car dealer asks that question and the speakers says, let's say, "I buy a new car every five years".
    – learner
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:33
  • If you are asking about "I buy a new car every five years", then it has to be "a". You should add to your question for clarity.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:35
  • The issue is I am the one who is asking the question to a friend or maybe an acquaintance. A dealer could ask this question to a customer too. So I don't know much about the person who is being asked except the fact they are average persons.
    – learner
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:37

1 Answer 1

1

Singular. The consumer buys only one, no matter how often.

The same question to a car dealer may require the plural form.

5
  • Hmm...I have 2 cars. Possibly I could buy 2 at the same time.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:32
  • then you would be in huge a minority & not really a target of the question - part-way between consumer & dealer Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:33
  • The problem is the question is not clear. Really that is the point I am making. Otherwise it is primarily opinion based.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:37
  • 1
    In my opinion (see what I did there? ;) unless you really need to cover every possible eventuality, if you're asking someone in general conversation about their automobile-buying habits, the first would be perfectly fine. Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:40
  • @Tetsujin "in general conversation", yeah! That's it.
    – learner
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:41

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