English Grammar


1. Plural of surnames.

I read in an American newspaper about Bill and Hillary Clinton: “ the Clintons”

Do surnames or names of persons take an s in the plural as common names do?
Is it a general rule or an American habit or is it left to the writer’s discretion?

2. Plural of relative clauses dependent on indefinite pronoun or a collective name…

If SOMEONE has always dreamt of having anything, then THEY HAVE always desired to have a house.
ANYONE who is capable of getting THEMSELVES made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. (Kurt Vonnegut)
May I say: anyone who is capable of getting oneself made president should.... ?

To put one’s hands in one’s pockets.
I assume I may not say: to put one’s hands in their pockets.

Which are the rules?

If someone (Jean-Pierre? Silky ? anyone else knowing) could set me straight about that, I’d thank THEM in advance. (Is it necessary “them” here? suppose only one of them responds.)

10 comments - page 2

  • My pajamas vest is red.
    My pajamas pants are blue.
    I have pink dreams in such a colored outfit.
    But eventually, how many pajamas do I have?

    I actually don’t know the way I must speak about that..
    I still need some help about some plurals.

    Colored = coloured ; pants = trousers ; pajamas = pyjamas ; actually = really ; eventually = finally

    One vest, two vests.
    One pair of pants, two pairs of pants.
    But what about pajamas?

    Hope not all the GimGlish users sleep naked!

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