only children

< Previous | Next >


Hi. Does ' only children' means that the children who don't have siblings in this sentence? "Preschool tests revealed that Jack Burns had a vocabulary beyond his years, which is not uncommon among only children accustomed to adult conversation,especially only children of single parents."
  • analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yes. It's a (slightly odd-feeling) plural of 'only child', which is far more common. We don't often use it in the plural and it feels odd to me but understandable.


    English - England
    Interestingly, the OED classifies "only child" as a noun, and gives it its own entry.

    Preceded by an or (without article) in plural: a child having no siblings.
    1655 W. Sales Theophania vi. 155 Her care of my education was such as suited to the tenderness of a mother of an only child.
    < Previous | Next >