- One of the former student
- One of the former students
Which one is correct, and why? Can any one explain it clearly?
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In the expression "One of the former student", the speaker employs "one" to refer to one student out of a group of two or more former students. When the constituents of that group are referred to, they cannot be referred to in singular (that is, as "former student"). So, this expression is incorrect.
In the expression "one of the former students", the constituents of the group are referred in plural (that is, as "former students"). So, this expression is correct.
One of the former students. "One of" refers to a group. The group that follows is plural. "Students" is plural of "student."
Consider the statement, "one of the team." A team is a group. It can be referred to as singular or plural, depending on the context. In this case, the sentence refers to a larger entity which "one" is part of.
"Students" in the instance you refer to is the larger entity.