The Canadians or Canadians

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Akasaka, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Akasaka Senior Member

    Japanese
    Hello everyone.
    Here's the sentence about which I need your help.

    _____ speak English and French.

    Which is correct, the Canadians or Canadians?
     
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Canadians, if you're referring to all Canadians (which would make your statement untrue).
    The Canadians, if you're referring to a specific group of Canadians.
     
  3. Akasaka Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thanks elroy. I didn't know there's a difference between the two.
     
  4. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    اليابان
    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    If "The dog is man's friend." is OK, isn't "The canadian speaks English." (meaning "All canadians") Ok, or does it sound unnatural?
     
  5. Chevaux Junior Member

    United States
    United States, English

    That sentence would only work if you are talking about one person (because of speaks). It would be correct if you meant for canadian to be singular but it would not mean that all canadians speak English.

    "Canadians speak English" implies that all canadians speak English.



    "The dog is man's friend" implies that dogs in general are man's friend, but dog is used to describe a species where as canadian is used to describe one person. At least in this situation.
     
  6. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    اليابان
    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    Frankly, that's very new to me.
     
  7. billydagreek

    billydagreek Junior Member

    English Canada
    Elroy's got it right.
     
  8. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    As an aside, "Canadian/Canadians" is ALWAYS capitalized. Same as Americans, Germans, Australians, etc.:)
     
  9. Luchie

    Luchie Junior Member

    Norway
    England, English
    This would refer to a specific Canadian, say in a room with many nationalities. Not all Canadians.

    :)
     
  10. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    If you wish to speak of 'the Canadian' in the singular, as representative of all Canadians, you can do so, but with care. It's not too common to do this these days. It would sound like a travel book written about 1880.

    Example:
    The Canadian is an upstanding sort of fellow, much preoccupied with hockey, maple leafs, and other manly pursuits. He differs from his southern neighbor, the American, who is a loutish creature given to bouts of political excess.
     
  11. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Would that be maple leaves, Cuchu? Oh, and don't forget beavers, maple syrup and igloos!;)
     
  12. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés

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