Here is a situation:

A: Hey, who is that girl? The one with the blue backpack. B: She is Susan, the daughter of Mr. Norman.

In this case, should Susan be the only daughter of Mr. Norman or she could have her sister? Or either is possible?

My guess is either is possible; the former is possible because literally that sounds like he has only one daughter, and the later is also okay considering the situation where Susan is the daughter of Mr. Norman that is being mentioned in the dialogue

Thanks in advance for any comments!


Either is possible, as you surmise.

If you reversed the sentence to say "The daughter of Mr. Norman is Susan" it would imply that there is only one daughter, though you could only be completely sure if the sentence were "The only daughter of Mr. Norman is Susan."


There is nothing in the dialogue to suggest Mr. Norman has only one daughter. You can only accurately deduce that Mr. Norman has a daughter named Susan.

  • So the reader only know for sure he has a daughter named Susan, not a daughter, named Susan? – user92660 Sep 27 '14 at 2:17

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