a sexy and a happy girl(s)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by easychen, May 23, 2009.

  1. easychen Senior Member

    Hi there,

    Is it correct for me to say something like:
    (1) I met a sexy and a happy girls yesterday. (two girls)

    (2) I met a sexy and a happy girl yesterday. (one girl)

  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    The first sentence is wrong because you can never use "a" with a plural.

    You could, however, have said "I met some sexy and some happy girls yesterday".

    The second sentence is grammatically correct.
  3. easychen Senior Member

    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  4. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Ahhh, I see what you are trying to say.

    If you want to be very specific that you are referring to two individuals, one of whom was sexy and the other of whom was happy, you would say:
    I met one sexy, and one happy, girl yesterday.

    However, this would not be the most natural way to say this. I would just say "I met two girls; one was sexy, and one was happy."

    There is nothing wrong with the grammar of the second sentence, even if it is not the most common way to express the idea.
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  5. easychen Senior Member

    It's very interesting!

    I never expected there would be such a big difference between one sexy, and one happy, girl and a sexy and a happy girl.:)
  6. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    To me, "a sexy and a happy girl" is ambiguous since it could refer to one girl or two, but "one sexy, and one happy, girl" seems to clearly refer to two (one and one makes two). The indefinite article is applied to a singular count noun but is not a number, and one is a number.
  7. francesalut New Member

    There are bound to be cases where correct use of language may still confuse or seem clumsy. Don't tie yourself in knots working out whether it is right or wrong; just find a different way of saying it.

    Even if it were correct, "a happy and a sexy girls" would look and sound ridiculous. "I met two girls, one of the happy and the other sexy," is just one of numerous solutions.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If it's one girl:
    I met a happy, sexy girl yesterday.
    If two:
    I met a happy girl and a sexy girl yesterday.
  9. easychen Senior Member

    Oh, the significant difference suddenly dawned on me.
    Thank you very much, Forero.
  10. easychen Senior Member

    Ok, france, next time I'm going to work out something "workable.":D
  11. easychen Senior Member

    Thanks a lot, panjan. I'll take your advice.

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