EN: shake like a leaf / like leaves

mari06

Senior Member
FRENCH
Bonjour,
Doit on accorder l'expression "shake like a leaf" quand le sujet est pluriel? Doit-on dire "They shook like a leaf" or "They shook like leaves"?
Merci de votre aide.
 
  • Lebasi

    Senior Member
    Spanish/English
    I would use the past continuous/progressive (rather than the simple past) and keep it singular:

    They were so nervous that they were shaking like a leaf,

    rather than

    they were so nervous that they were shaking like leaves.
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    I've never thought about this before. Logically, it should be leaves. What do other natives think? However, there's nothing wrong with the simple past. It would depend on context.
     

    mari06

    Senior Member
    FRENCH
    En effet généralement le pluriel est distributif en anglais mais je ne sais pas si c'est le cas aussi pour les expressions idiomatiques ! Merci de vos réponses, en espérant que d'autres personnes pourront donner un avis plus tranché !
     

    mancunienne girl

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I had never thought about it either. I would have probably left it singular though, had I translated it myself, but my guess is that both are OK.
     
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