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'one' and 'ones'

Level: beginner

We use one (singular) and ones (plural):

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.

after which in questions:

You can borrow a book. Which one do you want?
Which ones are yours?

one and ones 1

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one and ones 2

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Comments

Hello team. Can we have possessive of the plural "ones"? Is it correct to say "ones's cars"?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The pronoun 'one' has no plural form but the word can be used as a pro-form, which means a word which can substitute for another word in particular contexts to avoid repetition. With this use a possessive form would be possible, though it would be an extremely rare occurrence requiring a very unusual context. For example:

Do you see the two groups of people? I want to speak to the ones on the left. Try to get those ones' attention if you can.

The correct form for plural nouns ending in s is s' [Four dogs' tails].

When a singular noun ends in s you can use s's or s' [Thomas's toy / Thomas' toy].

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Could you please help me?
Which pronoun is correct?
- One's parents know what is best for (one - him).
Thank you.

Hi Ahmed Imam,

One is the best answer here. Him is grammatically correct, but only suitable if the speaker is referring to a person who is male, e.g., talking about how to raise a son (specifically a son, rather than a daughter). One is not limited to only male persons.

But using one is typical of a very formal style. A more common way to say this would be (Your) parents know what is best for you.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello can you please tell me what is the correct form of loaf and shelf as plural noun
Loafs ,shelfs/ loaves,shelves
And why

In English If a word ends with F, in plural you change it to V. Like thief > thieves.

Hello Raf,

That is true for some words, but there are many words that end in 'f' that have a regular plural ending. For example: 'roof' ('roofs'), 'belief' ('beliefs') and 'chef' ('chefs').

It's a good idea to check the spelling in a dictionary when you have any doubt.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

hi! Is it grammatically correct to say "The job of the government accountants intrigued me the most as they are said to be THE ONES who manage and monitor public funds, maintain fiscal transparency, and combat white-collar crimes and other fraudulent activities."

Hello shnx,

Yes, 'the ones' is used correctly in this sentence. I'd suggest putting a comma after 'the most' and before 'as' -- when 'as' means 'because', we generally put a comma before it.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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