Plural—all in general

Make generalizations about the group

ancestor
 

 

Plural Form–all vs. The–classification

PLURAL FORM—ALL

Using the plural noun form emphasizes "all, in general". This is a focus commonly found in everyday speech, books, articles, and magazines. In cases where the plural noun is the same as the singular noun (e.g., fish, deer, and elk) use the singular form . 

WolvesWolves hunt in packs.

Trappers hunt wolves for their fur.

Husky packDogs are descended from wolves.

Wolves are the ancestors of dogs.

THE—CLASSIFICATION

The before the singular noun form  "the wolf" emphasizes the class (type, or kind). This focus is mostly found in science books, encyclopedias and scholarly publications. We use "the class" when discussing the quality, character of behavior of an entire classification.

The WolfThe wolf (Canis Lupus) hunts in a pack.

Trappers hunt the wolf for its fur.

The HuskyThe dog isdescended from the wolf.

The wolf is the ancestor of the dog.

 

be descended from – be related to a group that lived a long time ago

unspecific and indefinite — Wolves hunt in packs. (True for all wolves.) /  A wolf hunts in a packt. (True for any wolf.) / The wolf hunts in a pack. (True of the class of animal.) [science]

specific but indefinite — A wolf killed a deer  (a wolf but we're not sure which one.)

specific and definite — The wolf that killed the deer also killed our chickens. (We know which one did it.)

Also see "all" with count and noncount nouns All–count / noncount.

 

 

 

Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Focusing on All

Wolf
 

Change the focus from "the class "to "all".

EXAMPLE:    Why does the wolf howl? (the class)  ⇒   Why do wolves howl? (all)

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.
 

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Focusing on the Class

dog
 

 

Change the focus from all  to the class.

EXAMPLE:   Why do wolves howl? (all) ⇒  Why does the wolf howl? (the class)

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

6.
 

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

The History of Furniture

Acient Greek Furniture

 

 

 

Speaking specifically or in general

THE — SPECIFIC & IDENTIFIED

We can discuss a topic using the before a noun, referring to a specific, identified item.

Ancient greek chairThe chair on the right is Assyrian.

PLURAL —ALL IN GENERAL

Or we can discuss a topic using the plural noun form, referring to all such items in general (true for all).

Salami in generalChairs were a luxury item in ancient times.

 

 

Also see Plural / The-definite.

 

 

 

 

 

Original (with errors)

The history of the furniture reflects the history of the culture. Relatively little is known about the furniture of the ancient societies, simply because the furniture was usually made of the perishable materials -- wood and sometimes fabric -- that have not survived. Our limited knowledge of the Egyptian, the Greek, and the Roman furniture is based mostly on the paintings and the sculptures. 

The only actual surviving pieces of the furniture of these cultures are from the burials. For example, King Tut's tomb in Egypt contained the display of elegantly decorated royal furniture. About the only surviving example of everyday Roman furniture are from the two cities near Naples that were buried under the tons of volcanic ash from the eruption of the Mt. Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D. 

ancient (adj.) — very old

bury (buried) — placed underground

decorate (v.) — make something look more attractive, beautiful

elegantly (adv.) –  in a beautiful, attractive, graceful manner

fabric (n.) — cloth

is based on — comes from, has as its foundation

perishable (adj.) — can decay, age, spoil easily

reflect (v.) — show, be a sign of a particular situation or feeling

society (n.) — a particular large group of people who share laws, organizations, customs

survive (v.) — to continue to exist after a long time

tomb (n.) — a stone structure above or below the ground where a dead person is buried

Greek Furniture (Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Reword the paragraph so that it refers to items in general. (Omit the where it is possible.)

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your responses to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-6" button. Brackets [ ] mark where the has been removed.

 

11.
The history of the furniture reflects the history of the culture.


12.
Relatively little is known about the furniture of the ancient societies, simply because the furniture was usually made of the perishable materials -- wood and sometimes fabric -- that have not survived.


13.
Our limited knowledge of the Egyptian, the Greek, and the Roman furniture is based mostly on the paintings and the sculptures.


14.
The only actual surviving pieces of the furniture of these cultures are from the burials.


15.
For example, the King Tut tomb in Egypt contained the display of elegantly decorated royal furniture.


16.
About the only surviving example of everyday Roman furniture are from the two cities near Naples that were buried under the tons of volcanic ash from the eruption of the Mt. Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D.