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I have been thinking about the following sentence for a while:

"A map is nothing more than a drawing, and the language used to label one is very simple."

I am unsure if the use of one is correct in that sentence. I feel that one is more fitting when speaking in plural:

"Maps are nothing more than drawings, and the language used to label one is very simple."

Is the first sentence correct? Or is the second one more appropriate?

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    Both sentences are correct. – GEdgar Aug 23 '17 at 12:56
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    'A map' in your first variant is the indefinite generic usage, and using 'one' in place of this sense of 'a map' is fine. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 23 '17 at 13:04
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"Is" is correct. But that has nothing to do with the word "map" or "maps" or "one." The subject is the singular noun "language." Therefore, "is" is correct. If you had a million maps, it would still be "is." Example: "Maps are nothing more than drawings, and the language used to label a million maps is very simple.

  • Hello, Hb. The question is/was about the use of 'one' after 'map' (no doubt influenced by the thought that the 'one of them' variant suggesting 'maps' might be more logical here). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 23 '17 at 22:03
  • Thanks @Edwin Ashworth. I believe you're correct. I misinterpreted what was being asked. – Headblender Aug 24 '17 at 20:32

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