The usage of 'some'


A. Some student knows how to solve the problem.

B. Some students know how to solve the problem.


I think the sentence 'B' is correct. then, what about 'A'

Is it correct? If so, what's the difference in meaning between A and B ?

asked Jul 07 '12 at 12:03 gavotte78 New member

2 answers


Okay, seems like Jeff Pribyl has explained the answer, in far more detail.  


Sorry, my intention was to provide an answer in more 'lay' terms that someone with less knowledge of English could (more quickly) understand.  Whilst I feel the 2 other answers provided explain the differences very well, I also felt they left something to be understood by the person posing the question, and may have indeed confused them further.


Apologies if my answer used terms such as 'correct' or 'wrong' that were taken figuratively, and where Jeff has corrected me, I fully accept.


Hopefully my answer helped explain the differences somewhat, despite it's shortcomings.

link answered Jul 08 '12 at 09:42 ian New member

What I needed on that,telling the truth, was an expert's opinion, but you also helped me a lot.I really appreciate it. thanks

gavotte78Jul 09 '12 at 14:46

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Sentence A is 'wrong' as it uses 'Some student...' which is plural/singular mixed, when it should be 'A student....' singular/singular.  Notice the switch of the 's' - a student knowS, some studentS know, signifying the singular/plural difference correctly.  In short, sentence A is contradictory.  


Perhaps ot would help to consider the correct, full version of sentence B which would/should be 'Some (of the) students know how to solve the problem.'  You can NOT have some (of the) student, which is singular, but can have some of the students (plural).


Hope that helps!

link answered Jul 07 '12 at 17:16 ian New member

I beg to disagree. Please see my second answer.

Jeff PribylJul 07 '12 at 23:48

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