1

Look at to these three sentences:

  • My mother was born in the 1950s.
  • My mother was born in the 1950.
  • My mother was born in 1950.

My questions:

  • What is the role of 's' in the end of '1950s' in the first sentence?
  • Is any of the above sentences false in terms of grammar?
  • Is there any difference in meaning between the above sentences?
  • 1
    For sentence number two, if you want to use the word "the", you could write it "My mother was born in the year 1950". If you write it like that, sentences two and three have the same meaning. – Keiki Mar 31 '15 at 21:13
8

Not grammatical:

My mother was born in the 1950.

The first one:

My mother was born in the 1950s.

means my mother was born between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1959

The last one:

My mother was born in 1950.

means my mother was born between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1950.

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  • 1
    You might want to add that stating a decade usually has a specific connotation depending on the major political or social events / changes / subjects of the decade. Like the 50s in the US were (simplified!) about economic prosperity, cold war and anti-communism, rock and roll music and the start of the civil rights movement. So if OP says the mother was born in the 50s, it also means she grew up with a specific set of values and in a certain political and social climate. – Stephie Mar 31 '15 at 21:10
0

The 's' in "the 1950s" indicates that the entire decade, ten years, beginning in 1950, is meant. As noted, the last case indicates that your mother was born in the year 1950. Saying "the 1950" is not correct.

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0

The 's' in "the 1950s" acctualy means around that year. Which means in the sentance "My mother was born in the 1950s." means that 'My mother was born around 1950.(between 1950 - 1959)'(I think...)

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