6

Which one is the most suitable option for the following sentence and why?

I do not like these kind of novels.

  1. This kind
  2. Those kind
  3. This kinds
  4. None of the above

Please let me know the grammatical rule for this type of sentence.

9

For the pattern (this/that/these/those) kind(s) of thing(s), it's safer to use only:

  • this/that kind of thing -- when you're talking about one kind (of that thing)
  • these/those kinds of things -- when you're talking about several kinds (of such things)

The other two alternatives (this/that kind of things and these/those kind of things) will sound awkward. Even though you can find some real examples of these awkward alternatives, it's safe to assume that in your tests or exams, you're expected to make the plurality of kind(s) agree with thing(s).

So, given that novels is fixed in your sentence, it should be:

I do not like these/those kinds of novels.

But these kinds or those kinds isn't in the given options, so the answer should be None of the above.


I quoted this entry once elsewhere. I'd like to take this opportunity to quote this Usage note in Oxford Dictionaries again here:

Usage

The plural of kind often causes difficulty. With this or that, speaking of one kind, use a singular construction: 'this kind of question is not relevant'; 'that kind of fabric doesn’t need ironing'. With these or those, speaking of more than one kind, use a plural construction: 'we refuse to buy these kinds of books'; 'I’ve given up those kinds of ideas'. The ungrammatical use 'these kind' rather than 'these kinds' (as in 'these kind of questions are not relevant') has been recorded since the 14th century, and although often encountered today, it should be avoided.


A final note: this kind/type/sort of question has been raised many times on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange (and if I recall correctly, on ELL as well). You may find these related questions useful:

4

This/these and that/those are used to determine proximity to the speaker.

this - singular, near
these - plural, near

that - singular, far
those - plural, far

Since "kind" is an abstract noun here, it's neither near nor far. I'd probably select "proximity" based on who introduced the novels and you should select singular or plural based on whether or not you used "novel/novels". You should also however, pluralise "kind" if you did "novel".

Using plural if you are talking about more than one genre.

I don't like these kinds of novels.

You introduced the novels to the conversation, you are talking about more than one genre.

I don't like this kind of novel.

You introduced the novel to the conversation, you are talking about one genre.

I don't like those kinds of novels.

Somebody else introduced the novels to the conversation, you are talking about more than one genre.

I don't like that kind of novel.

Somebody else introduced the novel to the conversation, you are talking about one genre.


This kinds

This option is wrong, you've combined singular and plural.

1
2

In an informal style, we sometimes mix singular and plural forms when we use demonstratives with kind, sort or type.

I don’t like those kind of boots.

I got this from Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan, which I consider a great source. Its approach to language is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. That is real usage, but it can make things confusing if you are aiming for a formal language certification. So, it is above proficiency, to put it that way. Of course, Grammarly doesn't agree with Swan. I would say that, in case of doubt, the best is to stick to what is logical grammatically. But anyway, it's worth checking the book mentioned. There are many common exceptions in real usage when it comes to the use of singular or plural forms. To get an idea of how often a "wrong" expression is used, you can always check the phrases in Youglish and similar websites.

2
  • Hi, welcome to ELL! Great answer that supplements other answers. Could you cite a page number for the Swan book? – Eddie Kal Mar 30 at 16:29
  • Thank you! I was reading the book and searched for extra information. No merit in it, really. It is on page 130 (fourth edition). I know previous editions had an alphabetic order, rather than thematic. Your version will have to be the fourth or (probably) any newer. Cheers! – Pablo GM 2 days ago

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