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When you speak to a group of people, do you use the plural object or the singular, for example:

(speaking to the class)

1. Teacher: Please turn on your computer(s).

2. Teacher: Please take out your textbook(s)

(the police giving an order to 3 suspects - each suspect carries a gun)

3. drop your weapon(s)

4. Flight attendant: Please store your belongings in the overhead compartment(s)

5. Commander: War heroes, raise your right hand(s) to ...

Thanks in advance!
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You usually use the plural.
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Thanks Nona. I still don't feel comfortable using the plural in some cases, for example,

Master of ceremony: Gentlemen, please invite your wives for a dance.

To me, this sounds like each of the gentlemen has more than one wife. Emotion: sad

I believe native speakers look at them collectively rather than individually, therefore, the plural form makes sense. Is that how you interpret it? I know you have given me the answer. Sorry for asking again but I'd really like to know the reason and that will help me accept it better.

Thanks a bunch!
In each case we have a group of people and a group of items (or wives).

I said 'usually' as I've learnt here that if you say 'always' someone can usually pop up with the exception to that Emotion: smile

In your gentlemen/wives situation don't forget that gentlemen in also plural. We have many men and many women here. If we were to say 'Gentlemen please invite your wife to dance' then you could say that it sounds as if there is one (lucky or unlucky [:^)]) woman with several husbands!

In most cases we use the plural because, yes, we are thinking collectively rather than individually. You have addressed a collection of men: gentlemen; a collection of students; a collection of travellers; a collection of heroes.
Thank you, Nona. That definitely helps!
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