We use one (singular) and ones (plural) to avoid unnecessary repetition.

See those two girls? Helen is the tall one and Jane is the short one.
Which is your car, the red one or the blue one?
My trousers are torn. I need some new ones.
See those two girls. Helen is the one on the left.
Let’s look at the photographs. The ones you took in Paris.

We often use them after Which ... in questions:

You can borrow a book. Which one do you want?
There are lots of books here. Which ones are yours?

Exercise

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Comments

Hello,
In example 2 (Which is your car, the red one or the blue one?) can I say (Which is your car, the red or the blue?) or that is wrong?

Hello Ola Jamal,

Although you can hear some examples like this from time to time they are quite unusual and occur in very formal and/or literary use, and even there they are rare. We would generally say the sentence with 'one' rather than without.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I love it. The exercises are very helpful.

Good day everyone
This lessons are quite interesting and I am learning a lot especially through practical activities or exercises. I am suggesting from our tutor at least to give us long pieces of writings to improve our writing skills.

i just have a doubt in the below sentence.

It is regrettable that a case relating to the promotion of communal disharmony, one that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months, was mired in judicial stagnation and administrative apathy for a quarter century.

in the above sentence,one that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months is acting as an adjective clause for noun CASE or it is acting as a noun clause.

could you please help me.

thanks in advance

Hello ganesh4023,

The clause 'one that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months' has an adjectival role. It is a particular rhetorical device which repeats the subject of the relative clause. We can rewrite the sentence with a normal relative clause in two ways:

It is regrettable that a case relating to the promotion of communal disharmony that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months was mired...

or

It is regrettable that a case relating to the promotion of communal disharmony, which had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months, was mired...

The first sentence has a defining relative clause and the second has a non-defining relative clause; both are possible. However, there are problems with both possibilities. The first is quite a hard sentence to follow as there are two defining relative clauses in it - one reduced to a participle ('relating') and one introduced with 'that'. The second is ambiguous - the non-defining relative clause could refer to the 'a case' or to 'communal disharmony'.

Another way to phrase the sentence uses a clause which repeats the subject or uses 'one' instead:

It is regrettable that a case relating to the promotion of communal disharmony, a case that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months, was mired...

or

It is regrettable that a case relating to the promotion of communal disharmony, one that had a bearing on riots and reprisals in the following months, was mired...

 

This is a clearer way to structure the sentence and also has a rhetorical effect of emphasising the point being made.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello all
We can say :
I've got two books: which do you want? or which ones do you want?
how is sound properly?
Thanks.

Hello nustaagelica,

Both are correct grammatically but the meaning is different.

...which do you want? means you will give the person one book

...which ones do you want? means that you will give the person more than one book

Obviously, if you have only two books then the second question makes no sense - there is no choice possible. But if you have three books then you might ask which ones do you want? as the person can choose two of the available three.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Could you please clear me this: What is the difference between the usage of one and you in the below two sentences.When can we use one and you. will it make any difference in meaning?
1. If one has strong will, he will be able to do that.
2. If you have strong will,you will be able to do that.
Also in the first sentence whether we can use you instead of he in the second part of the sentence.

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