give customers <a discount coupon / discount coupons>


Senior Member
Hi teachers!!

Please read the sentences below and let me know which are correct.

(each customer gets one coupon)
1.why don't you give customers a discount coupon?
2.why don't you give customers discount coupons?

3.why don't you give people a penalty?
4. why don't you give people penalties?

I think 2 is correct because 3 people will get total three coupons (each will get just one , though)
however... 1 sounds about right too because each will get one! hum....
What do you think???
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1) probably means that each customer recieves a coupon though it could be taken as saying that several customers share a single coupon. Our experience of the world tells us the second meaning is not likely. People don't share coupons.
    2) could mean each customer gets one coupon (a discount on apples) or each customer gets more than one coupon (a discount on apples and a discount on oranges). These seem equally likely.
    English does not have a way purely through grammar to make this distinction. We must used context and common sense.
    The children raised their hands. They were on a roller coaster and each raised both hands. They were answering questions in class and each raised one hand.