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In a phrase like "The meeting Friday has been canceled and I hope you all enjoy your weekend(s)" which is correct? Should weekend be singular since there is only one weekend being referred to or should it be plural since there are multiple weekend experiences occurring (one for each employee). If it's interchangeable is there a particular grammatical justification for this or is it just a unique aspect of the word 'weekend'?

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  • It's certainly not a unique aspect of the word 'weekend'. For example, suppose the boss said "I've decided to close the office tomorrow. You'll still be paid, but you don't need to come to work, so you can all just relax and enjoy your day/days off". Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 17:42
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    @FumbleFingers I would get around the dichotomy by using the definite article. '...hope you all enjoy the day off', 'hope you all enjoy the week-end'.
    – WS2
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 22:20
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    I agree with the OP that the sense of unease I feel about such constructions increases as the possibility of interpreting the instruction as involving a shared activity increases. On the other hand, WS2's solution of switching from "your" to "the" when English permits doing so idiomatically is a very neat solution to the difficulty.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 4:02

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It is not unique to weekend at all. If the boss had told you all to go home, he surely isn't implying that you all live in a single building.

When you are addressing multiple people at once, it isn't needed to redundantly specify that the predicate applies individually to each person addressed.

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  • What if the modifier "your" is applied, like with "your weekend(s)." It strikes me as strange to say "you all need to go to your home" if the group of people don't all share a home, but "you all need to go to your homes" sounds more natural.
    – pavja2
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 0:08
  • I don't think the difference is enough to worry about.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 0:11
  • I see the point you're trying to make, but your sentence doesn't make it. That's because "home" here is an adverb, not a noun, and so couldn't possibly be plural anyway.
    – Rosie F
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 4:55
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It’s ONE weekend. There are not multiple weekends, although the experiences of THE weekend definitely vary. They’re all enjoying the one officially designated weekend in their own unique ways (ergo the difference between one “weekend” and many “ways”)

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On the other hand, each person is experiencing their own personal weekend, so it just depends on the speaker’s intent, and ultimately it really doesn’t matter much at all

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  • You should edit this into your existing answer rather than creating new answers. Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 12:51

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