Is there any nuance in the two sentences below if I want to state a general fact about cars ?

A) Cars have 4 wheels.

B) A car has 4 wheels.

The question above is also a question to itself.

So can I say "...if I want to state a general fact about a car" instead of ".....cars"?

  • These are different kinds of Generic Noun Phrases. There are several varieties in English. – John Lawler Aug 1 '14 at 15:33
  • Unsure what's being asked. Either works. I guess the real question is "Who's the audience?" and "Why would the audience care about the nuance?" – SrJoven Aug 1 '14 at 15:34
  • 1
    @JohnLawler, Thanks. That is the kind of answer I was looking for. – cp_noname Aug 1 '14 at 18:17

A) Cars have 4 wheels

This asserts a true statement about (implicitly) all cars. But some cars might have 3 wheels. And theoretically most cars have 5 wheels (spare in trunk).

B) A car has 4 wheels

Also implies the same thing: A car, random car that you find on the street, has 4 wheels.

Neither offer much opportunity to offer variance to the statement.

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