mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
My favorite animal is dogs. Options
sb70012
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:27:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/6/2013
Posts: 1,210
Neurons: 6,208
What's your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is dogs.

Hello,
Suppose that I want to say I love dogs by using the word "favorite". Is my sentence above fine?

Thank you.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:45:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 5,284
Neurons: 1,228,472
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
is (singular) dogs (plural) :-(

My favorite animal is the dog. <-- This one is more likely from an adult than a child.
Or, someone might respond by saying "My favorite animals are dogs." This would be very common, from either adults or children.
A very typical child's response might be "I like dogs!" But anyone might say this, because no one is aware that you are trying to make them use the word favorite.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:59:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 34,403
Neurons: 227,927
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi sb.
This is an odd one . . .

You are right in that "my favourite animal" has to be followed by "is" (not "are").

However, in Standard English (not in some dialects which have forms left over from Middle English), if you have "is" with a noun before and after it, both nouns are better singular. Your sentence just "sounds wrong" with the plural there.

There is a way to handle it - use the "generic singular".
This is often used for types of animal or plant, and can be used for other things, too.

The horse is a very useful animal. (Meaning "horse" in general, the species)
My favourite animal is the dog. (meaning the species, dogs)

sb70012
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 9:29:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/6/2013
Posts: 1,210
Neurons: 6,208
Thank you.
Can "the dog" also mean a specific dog? As if we are pointing to it by our finger.

Can it have two meanings?
1. Dogs generally
2. A specific dog
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 12:03:02 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,432
Neurons: 68,660
sb70012 wrote:
Thank you.
Can "the dog" also mean a specific dog? As if we are pointing to it by our finger.

Can it have two meanings?
1. Dogs generally
2. A specific dog


No, "the dog" would be used for dogs generally since you are talking about a favorite animal as a group.

You might use "my favorite animal" if you meant that specific dog out of all other animals you have. For example, if you have cats, birds, turtles, or hamsters, the dog could be your favorite animal.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:43:56 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,685
Neurons: 57,280
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom


I think it's pretty fair to say that we've reached one of those points again where it must be pointed out that grammatical correctness of formal written language is not reflected in the spoken language.

Yes, "My favourite animal is the dog." is correct, and is a good way to lead into an essay or story.

But in spoken English the answer to "What's your favourite animal?" is usually in plural:

"Oh, I love dogs!"
"It just has to be warthogs!"
"I think horses are the best of all."

But, anyone who actually said "My favourite animal is the dog" would be someone who simply didn't like animals! No genuine dog-lover would speak in such a objectively detached way as to use "The" dog.Not talking

WeaselADAPT
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 1:51:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/6/2014
Posts: 366
Neurons: 87,036
Location: Kentwood, Michigan, United States
sb70012 wrote:
Thank you.
Can "the dog" also mean a specific dog? As if we are pointing to it by our finger.

Can it have two meanings?
1. Dogs generally
2. A specific dog


Sb,

This question, on its own, will have a different meaning (and answer) depending on its context.

A couple of posts up, you see Dit answering, "No!" He is interpreting your meaning of this question from the context of your original post about how to answer the question, "What is your favorite animal?" And in that context, he is correct: If you receive the answer, "My favorite animal is the dog," it will not mean a specific dog, except in the rare exception that the person you asked misinterpreted the question and thought you meant, "What is your favorite animal (from those in your yard right now)?"

But if, in this new question, you are leaving behind the original question about how to answer what your favorite animal is, then the answer is definitely: Yes, the phrase, "the dog," can certainly refer to a specific dog. "Look at the dog!"

So, yes, the phrase "the dog" can have both meanings. In one context it can mean a specific dog; in another context it can mean the dog species.

On the other hand, if you're asking if the phrase can have both meanings at once (at the same time), then I'd have to say no. I cannot imagine a way or a context in which the phrase could mean both things at the same time.

I hope this helps.

the Weasel
WeaselWorks Freelance Editing
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.