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I'm trying to explain to non-native English speakers when we use the pronoun, one. Since, I'm not the best at explaining things, I basically tell them to:

Use 'one' in place of your noun after it has already been mentioned.

Then, they ask 'Why?'....and that's where I can't explain. I don't want to say: Just because.

So, can anybody help me explain this better? Better yet, does anybody have really great exercises I can use for them to practice? I can't find any :-(

Thanks.
Comments  
use one to refer back to countable noun antecedents.
one is to it as a/an is to the.

Do you have a pen? No, I don't have a pen. No, I don't have one.
Do you have the pen? No, I don't have the pen. No, I don't have it.


one replaces an indefinite expression; it replaces a definite expression (if you stick to inanimates).

___________

And then there's the one.

There's a pen on that table, but it's not the one (that) I want.


And with an intervening adjective, because you can't have things like just the blue used as a noun in English. You must specifically place a noun (or pronoun, i.e. one) in there.

The red shirt is nicer than the blue one.
____________

With the intervening adjective, you can also have a ... one.

John wants a red shirt, but I want a blue one.

I would certainly not try to present all these different usages in one lesson, by the way!

Does that help at all?

CJ
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Hi,

There's also the somewhat formal and rather generalized use of 'one' for a person.

eg One should never chew with one's mouth open.

I believe that this is not common in AmE.

Best wishes, Clive
The examples in the book are as follows:

A: Excuse me. How much is this shirt?

B: Which one? The blue one?

A: Yes, that one.

B: It's $20.

Can I explain, that when there is a choice and the noun is already mentioned, it doesn't need to be mentioned again?
Calif explained that:

<And with an intervening adjective, because you can't have things like just the blue used as a noun in English. You must specifically place a noun (or pronoun, i.e. one) in there.

The red shirt is nicer than the blue one.>
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Can I explain, that when there is a choice and the noun is already mentioned, it doesn't need to be mentioned again?

That seems an acceptable informal explanation if you don't want to get into a lot of grammatical terminology with the students. But instead of saying that it doesn't have to be mentioned again, you might say that it must be represented again somehow, and the word one is how we represent it again without repeating the exact same word or words.

However, note that one does not actually replace the single noun; it replaces the noun and its complements, if any. Radford gives these examples, of which the first is correct, but not the second.

The present king of England is more popular than the last one.
(one replaces king of England.)
*The king of England defeated the one of Spain. (one replaces just king.)

In the language of transformational grammar, it is said that one replaces an N-bar, not just an N.
I doubt that it will be necessary or advisable to explain the concepts in this much detail for your students. Emotion: smile

CJ
AWESOME!!! Thank you so much!!!!