A cold wind, cold winds

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Allegro molto, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Allegro molto

    Allegro molto Senior Member


    A. A cold wind blew across the river from the east.
    B. Cold winds swept the plains.

    How do A and B differ in their ways of blowing?

    Thank you
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    They really don't, Allegro Molto. These are two different ways of describing the same action. By using "winds", the writer emphasizes the idea of wind blowing in from different directions or perhaps at different times. Using the singular "wind" here generalizes the term wind to mean "the wind blowing at the time".

    So, if you are thinking about a windy area, you can say either: It's windy here. Winds are constantly blowing. Or: It's windy here. The wind is constantly blowing.

    There is no difference in the way they blow. It's probably more common to use the singular "wind" unless you are writing an extended piece about weather. In texts about weather and climate, it is common to see "winds".
  3. Allegro molto

    Allegro molto Senior Member

    Hello, owlman5

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    It brought me a somewhat Copernican revolution, because I had never thought "wind" in the singular and "winds" in the plural meant the same.

    Many thanks

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