Johnsons

< Previous | Next >

sobhan

Senior Member
PERSIAN
I think the Johnsons should……………………. their child more: he is always getting into trouble at school.
What does "Johnsons" mean?
I know Johnsons refers to the name but is it refering to the father and mother (parents) of the child? There's no source for that.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Specifically, it is Mr and Mrs Johnson (the parents). not the entire family. There is no precise rule for this usage; often "the Johnsons" or "the Smiths" refers to the entire family that live together. In another context, "the Campbells" or "the MacDonalds" (both Scottish clan names) could refer to the entire clan, not just a single family. When speaking of your own friends, it is common to use a shared surname (from marriage or from being siblings) just to refer to those members of the family that you know, and "the Robinsons" could be two brothers, surnamed "Robinson" that you went to school with, excluding their parents and any other members of their family. You might still call them "the Robinsons" in later life when they have long ceased living in the same house, should there be a reason to refer to them together.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think the Johnsons should……………………. their child more: he is always getting into trouble at school.
    What does "Johnsons" mean?
    I know Johnsons refers to the name but is it refering to the father and mother (parents) of the child? There's no source for that.
    'Their child' tells you that the Johnsons are the child's parents.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top