0

On my old Upper-Intermediate Book it's reported that whole plus a plural noun ( for instance whole businesses) means each one.

To be more clear, I write here the explanation the book gives:

"It's possible to say WHole businesses are affected....without the definite article, but this refears to each individual business"

So, my question is: "Does it mean each business?" Surfing on the Internet, I saw it is generally explained that it means "entire businesses", meaning many of them but not all of them.

Might you explain it to me?

  • 1
    Whole businesses means entire businesses, not just parts of businesses. In the same way whole families would mean that every member of the family is included - mother, father and children. Whole families is the opposite of part families i.e. those that only include some of the family members, but not all. – WS2 Apr 25 '17 at 11:52
  • 1
    It doesn't necessarily even mean 'many of them'. Just two entire businesses out of 300 say might be affected. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 25 '17 at 12:50
3

Whole businesses are affected does not mean All businesses or every business, but it means that some businesses are affected completely.

  • You use whole after a to emphasize that you mean all of something of a particular kind.

We worked on the project for a whole year.

I drank a whole pot of coffee, and I still felt tired.

  • You can also use whole like this in front of the plural form of a noun.

    There were whole paragraphs in the article that I didn't
    understand.

Be Careful!

In front of plurals, whole does not have the same meaning as all. If you say 'All the buildings have been destroyed', you mean that every building has been destroyed. If you say 'Whole buildings have been destroyed', you mean that some buildings have been destroyed completely.

From (thefreedictionary.com) Collins COBUILD English Usage.

2

Whole businesses means entire businesses, not just parts of businesses.

In the same way whole families would mean that every member of the family is included - mother, father and children.

Whole families is the opposite of part families i.e. those that only include some of the family members, but not all.

Thus whole businesses means all parts of each business are included.

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.