1

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
2

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.