one item I don't want

Discussion in 'English Only' started by azz, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. azz Senior Member

    armenian
    Customer to store assistant:

    a. I have picked five items, but I don't want one of them. Can I give it to you?
    b. I have picked five items, but there is an item I don't want. Can I give it to you?
    c. I have picked five items, but I don't want one item. Can I give it to you?
    d. I have picked five items, but I don't want an item. Can I give it to you?



    Which of the above sentences work in the give context?
    The items are in the customer's shopping cart and he wants to give one of the items to the shop assistant before proceeding to check out.

    The sentences are mine.

    My feeling is that (a) and (b) work and (c) and (d) don't.

    Many thanks
     
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    Only (a) for me. Once you have mentioned five items, the only natural way to refer to one of them is to use "one of". In (b), even though you have used "but" rather than "and", it is not clear whether the item you don't want is one of the five or a previously unmentioned sixth item.
     
  3. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Both (a) and (b) work for me, although I'd have said (b) as "... but there's one I don't want". :)
     

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