I always though that proper sentence would be:

Life is better with a pet.

When you are referring to having only one pet and not generally mean what kind of pet.

But all i find on google and even on translator from my language to English is:

Life is better with pets.

So i don't know which one to use. I know that pets generally mean, well pets as a word for global meaning of "pets".

But i want to suggest that as a single pet, it doesn't mean a cat or a dog, but only one animal.

So i think it should be:

Life is better with a pet?

Why than so many "pets" articles on google when they refer to only one dog?

Which one would be correct?

  • It depends on your point of view.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 7 '16 at 19:55
  • Either way is OK.
    – ab2
    Feb 7 '16 at 20:17

Life is better with a pet and life is better with pets mean very nearly the same thing because it's a general statement. In both cases a pet or pets is understood to refer to pets in general, not a specific pet or a specific number of pets.

If you were putting the phrase together with a photo, you might choose the singular or plural version depending on the number of animals in the picture. Similarly, you might choose the singular or plural version depending on whether you're thinking of one or more than one specific pets. But the sentiment expressed in both phrases is exactly the same.

  • That's my meaning in the sentence. I saw a picture of a friend and her dog how he made her life better, and my life is better with my pet, a cat. So our both lives are better with our pets, but as she have only one pet, and i also. That's how i got into conclusion that life is better with a pet.
    – lonerunner
    Feb 8 '16 at 3:20
  • 1
    @AleksandarĐorđević That's perfectly fine. You can say Life is better with a pet, and we'll all understand that you mean a cat, a dog, etc. But you probably don't mean to exclude cases where someone has both a dog and a cat, or two dogs, etc., and as a native AmE speaker I think it's unlikely that anyone in that situation would feel excluded. You could also think of your cat and her dog at the same time, and say Life is better with pets, and again the statement is sufficiently general that nobody who only owns one pet will feel slighted. In short: it works either way.
    – Caleb
    Feb 8 '16 at 3:27

Pets in this case refers to a class of things, not necessarily the number of members of the class.

Changing that around a bit, take

Studies show pets make you live longer.

That doesn't imply that someone with one pet will not reap the same benefit as someone with multiple pets. It isn't specific at all.

  • The OP does not talk about living longer. Better life refers to quality, not quantity.
    – Bevan
    Feb 8 '16 at 0:10
  • @Bevan - It was for illustrative purposes only. Feb 8 '16 at 0:35
  • OK. Sorry for overreacting. (Maybe I need a pet?)
    – Bevan
    Feb 9 '16 at 19:41

If you go out and get a pet and find that's good for you then you might say

Life is better with a pet.

If you do a study of people with pets and without and their health and well-being, you might say

Life is better with pets.

  • 1
    Either one really works fine, unless your study finds specifically that owning more than one pet is a benefit.
    – Caleb
    Feb 7 '16 at 23:50

The key point here has two parts: the focus of the sentence, and the audience.

Life is better with a pet

This statement focusses on life, not pet. So, it is talking about life being better - not about the amount of pets. This is a good generic statement, and could be used like this:

Selena was so much happier. She wrote in her diary: "Life is better with a pet".

However, if we now switch to focussing on the pet, we come across the situation of pet (singular) or pets (plural).

If we are making a broad statement about the topic, we use the singular.

Studies have shown that humans feel life is better with a pet.

This does not rule out those with more than one pet, it includes them. But if it were to say Studies have shown that humans feel life is better with pets, it would imply that more than one pet is required for better life.

Both statements are correct, gramatically, but mean slightly different things. I suspect you want the singular version from how I interpret your initial question.

  • Nobody would infer that multiple pets are required for a better life from life is better with pets.
    – Caleb
    Feb 7 '16 at 23:52
  • That is your opinion, but I did on reading it. So, I guess I am nobody.
    – Bevan
    Feb 8 '16 at 0:08

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.