I have a mom, a dad and a sister.

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Frankofiili

Member
Finland Finnish
Dear all,
I've often wondered what possibilities there are to talk about families. Could somebody please tell me which of the following are correct? I suppose there are many options...

I have a mom, a dad and a sister.

I have a mom, dad and sister.

I have mom, dad and sister.

I have Mom, Dad and a sister.

In my family, there's a mom, dad, sister and me.

In my family, there's a mom, a dad, a sister and me.

In my family, there's my mom, my dad, my sister and me.

Do you have a dad/Dad?
Do you have Dad?

So basically what I'm wondering about is the use of the indefinite article when talking about your parents. Mom and Dad (in capital letters) function as proper nouns, right? Do they sometimes take the indefitite article, though, as in

There was a lonely mom/Mom? sitting in the park.

Excuse my lenghty message, but I'd really like to get to the bottom of this ; )

Paivi
 
  • Silver_Biscuit

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    You need the indefinite articles or a possessive pronoun unless you're using 'mom' or 'dad' as a personal pronoun. However, we do not speak of 'having' Mom/Dad, when used as a personal pronoun.

    I have a mom, a dad and a sister. :tick:
    I have a mom, dad and sister. :cross:
    I have mom, dad and sister. :cross:
    I have Mom, Dad and a sister. :cross:
    In my family, there's a mom, dad, sister and me.:cross: (There's a mom in my family sound very odd)
    In my family, there's my mom, my dad, my sister and me.:tick:

    Do you have a dad/Dad?:tick:
    Do you have Dad?:cross:
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Hi, Frankofiili,
    The following is a very British way of saying it:
    "My family consists of my mother, my father, my sister and me." In the UK we never use the word 'mom'. We would say "I saw a young mum/mother sitting in the park" (it's a non-specific mum). You wouldn't say "... a father", as you have a specific one (your own) in mind. You could equally well cut out two 'my's': "My family consists of my mother, father, sister and me."
    Apologies if you only wanted the US version!
     

    Frankofiili

    Member
    Finland Finnish
    Dear Elwintree,
    By no means did I want just the US way of saying it! If we replace the word mom by mother in the corrections made by Silver_Bisquit, do you consider them correct in British English as well?

    Cheerio!
    Paivi
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    And in the British Midlands mum becomes mam.
    I personally find nothing wrong with I have a mum, a dad and a sister, the only possible objection being that it's colloquial.
     

    Frankofiili

    Member
    Finland Finnish
    Excuse me, Elwintree. I had a better look at your reply and I can see now that according to you, there are a lot of differences between the UK and American usages in this case. For us foreigners, I suppose, it's good enough if somebody somewhere in the Anglo-Saxon consideres correct what we say ;)

    A million thanks to you both!
    Paivi
     

    .ani.

    New Member
    German, English
    Elwintree, just a quick irk about "My family consists of my mother, father, sister and me."

    I would cut out the "and me", "my" already makes it clearly they're related since "my" is possessive. :)

    Aside from that, greetings fellow UK dweller.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Elwintree, just a quick irk about "My family consists of my mother, father, sister and me."

    I would cut out the "and me", "my" already makes it clearly they're related since "my" is possessive. :)

    Aside from that, greetings fellow UK dweller.
    Yes, I can see that logically you are absolutely right, but I still find it awkward to leave 'myself' out of the picture. If I said "My work team consists of seven people", that would include me. If I said "My work team consists of seven other people (x, y, z...)" that would sound odd to my ears, and I would need to say "My work team consists of seven other people and me". Perhaps I'm just naturally illogical!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As I am a member of my family, it would surely be an omission to omit myself in the listing.
    Otherwise you could end up with strange sentences.
    "There are no children in my family, just my mother and father."

    Skipping the mom/mum/mam point (see Mum or Mom), I think the following are OK:

    I have a mom, a dad and a sister.

    In my family, there's my mom, my dad, my sister and me.
     

    .ani.

    New Member
    German, English
    Yes, I can see that logically you are absolutely right, but I still find it awkward to leave 'myself' out of the picture. If I said "My work team consists of seven people", that would include me. If I said "My work team consists of seven other people (x, y, z...)" that would sound odd to my ears, and I would need to say "My work team consists of seven other people and me". Perhaps I'm just naturally illogical!
    I've had conversations exactly like you described and most often walked straight into asking "including you?" or the person I'm talking to has corrected it a moment later anyway, like

    "There's only six people in our office"
    "Oh, ok."
    "And that was including me."

    I have no idea why we do this :S I'm thoroughly confused.
     
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