Monday, 20 February 2017

Why we should have 4 different plurals

As you know, you can have one item (singular) or two or more items (plural).

But is this accurate enough?

We do know that a lot of languages have singular, and many different plurals depending on the number of things.

However in this post, I will be talking about different types of plurals...

If James has one cat we know that one person has one cat.
But what if everyone in 6th class have 20 dogs?

1. Does this mean that everyone in 6th class owns the same 20 dogs?
2. Or does it mean that everyone in 6th class owns one dog?
3. Or does it mean that everyone in 6th class has zero, singular, or plural amount of dogs?
4. Or does it mean that everyone in 6th class have 20 dogs each? (That is unlikely in this case but there are situations where this happens)

The third is usually the case, but the only way to know is from context.

For example, if Jack and Kelly own two cats, the first thing to come to mind is that both of them own the same two cats. They could also own two cats each.

But you do not always know from the context, and that's why I think we should have four different plurals (different endings etc).

Another thing I would like to mention in this post: is none/zero plural? It doesn't sound plural, but why do we put 's' at the end? I have no dogs. I have zero cents. But did you know although we use plural for zero, many languages such as the French language use singular for zero of something.

Also if you have 1 and a half bars of chocolate, is that singular or plural? Tell me what you think in the comments!