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Hi teachers,
Is it necessary to write "name(s)"? I mean, to write the "parenthetical '-(s') plurals" in the sentence or better "To ask for the name or names of one ..."

To ask for the name(s) of one or more things or animals, we use the question word "what".

Thanks.

Comments  
BCNNHi teachers,

I am not a teacher.

BCNNIs it necessary to write "name(s)"?

No. In fact, the plurals are odd. We state a general case in singular terms, I think: To ask for the name of a thing or animal, we use the question word "what".

That said, if you must use the plurals, you still use "name" because each thing or animal has one name, and anyway things tend to agree in number with the closest correspondent, in this case "one".

anonymousNo. In fact, the plurals are odd. We state a general case in singular terms, I think: To ask for the name of a thing or animal, we use the question word "what".That said, if you must use the plurals, you still use "name" because each thing or animal has one name, and anyway things tend to agree in number with the closest correspondent, in this case "one".

Then it's much better to use singular than plural. I thought quite the opposite. The plural was better than the singular for general cases.