Hi! A greedy man lived like a mouse/mice , A number of people dont have a job/ jobs

vegastar100

New Member
korean-korea
Hi there!
I am really thankful for your kind answers.

Today I was taking a test that is to check if there is a error in sentences.

And

There were 2 sentences.

1. A greed man lived like mice.

2. A number of people dont have a job.

First of all, Teacher said these 2 sentences have no errors.

But i thought
A greedy man is a singular now, So it should be a mouse, not mice
A number of people is a plural noun. So it should be jobs, not a job

But teacher said we can use those mice, a job instead of a mouse, jobs because they all have the same meaning in those two sentences.

Teacher said they all have the same meaning.

Is it correct?

Don't I have to care about that? Are those really interchangeable?
 
  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Mice" could be replaced by "a mouse" and "a job" by "jobs" without being incorrect and having the same meaning. This doesn't mean that the original sentences are wrong. The subject noun being singular or plural doesn't mean that the others have to be the same in these cases. They may have to be in other examples.

    #1 is all right because the greedy man's life is being compared to the way mice live, not just the way one mouse lives.

    #2 is all right because each of the people mentioned don't have an individual job.
     

    vegastar100

    New Member
    korean-korea
    "Mice" could be replaced by "a mouse" and "a job" by "jobs" without being incorrect and having the same meaning. This doesn't mean that the original sentences are wrong. The subject noun being singular or plural doesn't mean that the others have to be the same in these cases. They may have to be in other examples.

    #1 is all right because the greedy man's life is being compared to the way mice live, not just the way one mouse lives.

    #2 is all right because each of the people mentioned don't have an individual job.
    I think I got it.
    So I just need to focus in Agreement on number with subjects and verbs. right?

    The conclusion is
    A greedy man lived like a mouse/ mice <-- both are okay
    A number of people don't have a job/ jobs <-- both are okay

    Right?
    Thank you all the time.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A greedy man lived like mice do. That would be okay. He lived in the same way that mice live.

    A greedy man lived like mice. This doesn't work for me.

    I think there's also a cultural difference in this comparison between a man and a mouse/mice: A frugal man lives just like a mouse. (That frugal man, like a mouse, doesn't eat a lot. :D)
     
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