an Abbey’s accounts

< Previous | Next >

vkhu

Senior Member
Vietnamese
he engaged with a powerful lens deciphering the remains of the original inscription upon a palimpsest.

[...]

"[...] So far as I can make out it is nothing more exciting than an Abbey’s accounts dating from the second half of the fifteenth century."
These Abbey’s accounts seem to be a historical reference of a sort, but the only historical thing I can find is a man by the name of Beaulieu Abbey, but he's in the 13th century. So what are these Abbey’s accounts? And why is a plural noun preceded by a singular article?

Source: The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (THE ADVENTURE OF THE GOLDEN PINCE-NEZ )
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    the only historical thing I can find is a man by the name of Beaulieu Abbey,
    It's not a who but a what. An abbey is a sort of monastery. You'll find the word in the WR dictionary. If it was a reference to a person, it wouldn't have an article before it (unless it was a reference to a member in general of a family called Abbey).

    And why is a plural noun preceded by a singular article?
    It's not a plural noun. The word has a possessive s attached to it, not a plural s. It refers to a single abbey's accounts.

    I'm not sure why he's capitalised it however as he isn't referring to it by name. It appears to have been the custom earlier to capitalise certain common nouns.

    but he's in the 13th century.
    I'm not sure why you say "but" as you've yourself said it's a historical reference. The fact that he lived in the 13th century by itself doesn't exclude him. Holmes was looking at an old document. But it wasn't this person, as Holmes was referring to a monastery, not a person.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    an Abbey’s accounts = the accounts of {an abbey} (abbey - WordReference.com Dictionary of English)
    Accounts (usually plural) -> A financial record or statement.

    "I have completed the accounts for the company and I am happy to tell you that the company has made a huge profit."

    NB Beaulieu is pronounced /bˈjuːli/ (About this soundlisten)
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top