Questions tagged [generic-noun-phrases]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Uses of the definite article (the) in generic noun phrases

I was reading a paragraph about lions and I came up with a question about the definite article (the). Let me tell you first what I know about it. 1->We use the before a singular noun (when we are ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

The articles “a” and “the” in generic statements

This is intended as a generic statement: *A madrigal is popular. This means that being popular is a requirement for being a madrigal. ...of course this conclusion is wrong, so I've marked the ...
7
votes
1answer
28k views

The confusion between “The” or “A” article

I was reading about articles in Wren & Martin and found the following explanation: 1)Use the definite article when a singular noun is meant to express a whole class. The cow is a useful ...
17
votes
4answers
977 views

Why “the schoolboy” instead of “a schoolboy” in this sentence?

At the same time, however, Walser’s narrators—especially his schoolboys, and there is something of the schoolboy in all of his narrators—are possessed by a levity that borders on giddiness. (Source). ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Singular Vs plural while making a general statement

I'm having a hard time understanding whether to use plural or singular while making general sentences. Doing a bit of research I found both can be used. For example: Dogs are loyal animals. A ...
0
votes
3answers
32k views

Do you say “I like apple” or “I like apples”?

When stating a general fact/preference on countable nouns, singular or plural is more suitable and natural? Example 1 : I like apple. or I like apples. Example 2: I like eating apple. or I like ...
9
votes
1answer
416 views

How to use countable nouns?

In the sentences below, can I use a singular noun or must the nouns of the sentences be plural, and if so why? He likes hamburgers. She likes lions. Are these sentences wrong? He likes ...
2
votes
2answers
385 views

In the sentence of concern, should I use the plural form of the noun?

If you like a song, and you think it's catchy, could you say this? Songs don't get much catchier than this. My concern is the plural songs, when people say things similar to Life can't/doesn't ...
8
votes
6answers
614 views

A maine coon is a type of cat

I am confused about the usage of the word "type". Take the following for example: A maine coon is a type of cat. which most people believe is correct standard English. But, dictionary ...
1
vote
1answer
333 views

Definite article singular vs plural noun

Consider these: A. The deer eats the berry of the mistletoe. B. Deer eat berries of mistletoes. C. (The) deer eat(s) (the) berry(es) of (the) mistletoe(s). B is the way I would usually write a ...
13
votes
3answers
511 views

“Only the masochist would choose to study Russian” or “Only a masochist would choose to study Russian”? (use of articles in generic noun phrases)

From English is not Normal, by John McWhorter: If someone were told he had a year to get as good at either Russian or Hebrew as possible, and would lose a fingernail for every mistake he made ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Generic noun plural case

1) Studying at a good institute can really make a difference. 2) Studying at good institutes can really make a difference. Do both the sentences carry the same meaning ?