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I would like to write a sentence like this :

I dedicate this to all my sisters and my brother

I have 2 sisters and one brother.

Shoud I write : "my sisters and my brother" or "my sisters and brothers" or "my brothers and sisters" or "my brother and my sisters"

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  • Whatever sounds good.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 18:12
  • 3
    Whatever you do, don't mix numerals with spelled-out numbers. Either "I have 2 sisters and 1 brother" or "I have two sisters and one brother". The latter is generally preferred.
    – user91988
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 18:21
  • It's 'both' sisters, not 'all' if there are only two. Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 9:51

3 Answers 3

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I dedicate this to all my sisters and my brother.

This sentence is already grammatical—at least based on one interpretation. However, it might sound a little strange to some people because of the use of all and the fact that it might not be taken as elliptical.

If taken as elliptical, the sentence in full is:

I dedicate this to all my sisters, and I dedicate this to my brother.

In the shorter form of the elliptical sentence, the nouns are parsed as follows:

I dedicate this to (all my sisters) and (my brother).

But if parsed differently (not treating it as elliptical), the nouns become awkward:

I dedicated this to all (my sisters and brother).

It's this second parsing that can cause it to sound strange. Because brother is singular and isn't normally paired with all.


There are multiple ways of writing the sentence that could make it sound better:

I dedicate this to all my sisters and to my brother.

Here, you explicitly repeat to, which had been previously omitted. This makes it clear that you're not describing a compound noun, and that all only applies to my sisters.

I dedicate this to my brother and all my sisters.

Here, the order of the nouns is reversed, again making it clear that all is not being applied to brother.


You could also turn sisters and brother (or brother and sisters) into an appositive of siblings:

I dedicate this to all my siblings, my sisters and my brother.
I dedicate this to all my siblings, my brother and my sisters.

Here, all clearly applies to the plural siblings, while the breakdown of gender is given as additional nonrestrictive information.

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  • The last ones sound good
    – devPsycho
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 20:07
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Ideally, a dedication would be more personal and include names, so I would think something like:

I dedicate this to my brother, Boyname, and my sisters, Girlname and Girlnametwo.

Generally lists of varying numbers will count upwards (one of this, three of these, ten of those other), but there is no syntactic rule about it, at least not in any style guide that I'm familiar with.

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The options with "brothers" are incorrect if you have only one brother.

Grammatcially, all of the following are fine, though repeating "my" might sound a bit more formal (which is probably what you'd want for a dedication):

  • my brother and my sisters
  • my brother and sisters
  • my sisters and my brother
  • my sisters and brother

According to Google Books, "brother and sisters" is about twice as common as "sisters and brother", and as a result that order might seem more natural to readers.

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