Plural Form (All) / The (Class)

Make generalizations about the group

ancestor
 

 

Plural Form (All) / The (Class)

PLURAL FORM (ALL) – UNSPECIFIC

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 (THE CLASS) – UNSPECIFIC

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.

 

 

 

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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.
 

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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.

 

5.
 

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