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Hello.

I just have this thing that really confuses me with noun. I always tend to put "-s" after every noun. And, sometimes i try to generalize noun without putting any "-s" and article "a" . I just want to know in which cases do i not use any of "-s" and article "a/an" or "the".? Do i not put those when I just try to generalize the noun? e.g. Jack, do you have jacket at home? (here, you don't know how many jackets does Jack have . So, do you generalize by saying only "jacket" or do you say "Jack, do you have a jacket at home OR Jack, do you have jackets at home?"

Oh, and there's one more question. "Who lives in igloos?" OR "Who live in igloos?" which one is correct?

Please, I get really confused up! I am near-native, but I still have this problem! I just want to make sure! plz!

Thanx Emotion: smile
Comments  
Normally, you would be asking if Jack has any jackets at all (i.e. does he have protection from the cold?). For singular countable nouns, an article (a/an/the jacket) is always needed, unless it is replaced by a demonstrative (this jacket) or a possessive (your jacket). Generalization has nothing to do with it.

Jack, do you have a jacket at home?

Do you have (any/some) jackets is possible, but only if you are enquiring about the extent of Jack's wardrobe: Do you have (any/some) sweaters? Do you have (any/some) anoraks? Notice that natural English usually includes the determiners some or any.

Re your second question, both are OK. Who can be singular or plural, depending on context:

I love my wife, who is standing next to me.
I love my children, who are at day camp.

In your case, the plural igloos recommends the plural verb:

Who live in igloos?
Who lives in an igloo?
Mister Micawber

In your case, the plural igloos recommends the plural verb:

Who live in igloos?
Who lives in an igloo?

MM, is there a rule for that?
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Mr. M. - I don't know the rule, but using "who" with a plural verb sounds really strange to me. I think I would always use it with the singular form of the verb, even if I expected the answer to be plural. Who lives in igloos? Who likes President Bush? Who reads English Forums? I can't imagine saying "who live...", "'who like..", or "who read..." at the beginning of a question. (Of course, in a statement like "people who read English Forums are the luckiest people in the world" I would use the plural form of the verb.) Is this a British/American distinction, or am I just really wrong on this one??
To me "Who live in those houses?" sounds natural. I'll use "Who live in the area?" as a neutral question. If I expect an answer like "Nobody", I'll say "Who lives in such an area?".

paco
Is this a British/American distinction, or am I just really wrong on this one??

Well, we're both Americans, so it couldn't be that. In the cold light of dawn, I am not as brash as I was in the happy hours last night. A new tentativeness has set in. Yet, rolling them on my tongue, the plural verb doesn't sound too bad when I have many in mind: Who carry the palanquin? Actually, I think I got embroiled in this discussion before and lost (at least morally).

And sorry for the inappropriate examples: relatives do not necessarily behave like interrogatives.

Well, that's that off my chest.. on to further pontifications...
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relatives do not necessarily behave like interrogatives. My relatives usually do.

And speaking of my relatives - my daughter is with me on the singular verb following the interrogative "who," and likens it to the single verb following "everybody" as well as "nobody."

Who lives in igloos? Nobody lives in igloos. Everybody lives in igloos. (not "everybody live in igloos," which works as an exhortation but not as a statement of fact.)

I LOVE ENGLISH FORUMS!
Who live in igloos? The Inuit do.