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You'll find all kinds of curious combination.
MrPedantic


How come it is not like this:
1. You'll find all kinds of curious combinations.
2. You'll find all kinds of curious combination. (If this is correct, how come? How do you know when to add -s and when not to?)
What do #1 and #2 mean?

Also, I learned that you usually don't have to add -s after 'of' ? How do I know when I need it and vice versa?

3. You'll find all kinds of curious cars. (This is correct?)
4. You'll find all kinds of curious car. (Incorrect? How come #2 is correct?)

Thanks.
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Comments  
Hello Jack

This is how I use 'all kinds of', but usage may vary.

1. All kinds of cat.
2. All kinds of cats.

With #1, I mean {Persian cats, Siamese cats, tabby cats...}; or perhaps {lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars...}.

With #2, I mean [all kinds of {Persian cat} + all kinds of {Siamese cat} + ...]

Or perhaps: [all kinds of {lion} + all kinds of {tiger} + all kinds of {leopard}...]

In other words, #2 goes to 'subset' level.

In this case, there is only really one class of 'combination': 'things that combine'!

Moreover, if you look up 'combinations' in a good dictionary, you'll find a 2nd reason for avoiding the word – especially with 'curious' in front of it.

By the way, I deleted my 'conditionals' answer to your last post because I wasn't sure about part of my answer. When I've thought about it some more, I'll re-post. Sorry about that.

MrP
By the way, I deleted my 'conditionals' answer to your last post because I wasn't sure about part of my answer. When I've thought about it some more, I'll re-post. Sorry about that.


Oh. I was just looking for it. I wanted to study that again but I couldn't find it until I read this post.

1. All kinds of cat. (I get your explanation but I when I think about it I don't get how can you get different types of one cat? So this is correct? Or does this refer to species? Not actual cats?)

If these are not correct, why? What do they mean?
2. What kinds of friends do you have?
3. What kinds of friend do you have?

With #2, I mean [all kinds of {Persian cat} + all kinds of {Siamese cat} + ...]

For the quote above I don't understand why isn't it like this:

4. With #2, I mean [all kinds of {Persian cats + all kinds of {Siamese cat} + ...]
I find this very confusing. What does it mean when I add a -s to it?
Moreover, if you look up 'combinations' in a good dictionary, you'll find a 2nd reason for avoiding the word – especially with 'curious' in front of it.

Could you tell me which dictionary has it? Or is there a online dictionary where you could point that out to me?

Thanks.
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Sorry, Jack, I didn't explain it very well:

'All kinds of cat': 'cat' = the category (no pun intended).

'All kinds of cats': 'cats' = members of the category 'cat'.

Abstractions are usually singular:

'All kinds of category.'

Definition of 'combinations', from Merriam-Webster online:
any of various one-piece undergarments for the upper and lower parts of the body


MrP
What about these ones:

If these are not correct, why? What do they mean?
1. What kinds of friends do you have?
2. What kinds of friend do you have?

3. What kinds of car do you have? (Asking about the categories of cars?)
4. What kinds of cars do you have? (So this is asking about cars physically?)

If these are not correct, why? What do these mean?
5. Asking about categories of cars?
6. Asking about categories of car?

Thanks.
Psst. Where can I find out how to use italics, bold, etc? There doesn't seem to be an editing window, and HTML does seem to work either. Help.
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Hello Casi

You do it like this, except with angle brackets <> instead of sq. brackets (if I use angles, it will self-exemplify!):

bold

italic

underline

quote
- for a blue box

MrP
Hello Jack and MrP

The usage of 'kind of' in English sounds like a chaos to me.

My E-J dictionary says as follows;
(1) this kind of a job is a wrong usage and it must be this kind of job (without 'a/an'). (2) this kind of job can be pluralized into these kinds of job as well as into these kinds of jobs, and the latter is more colloquial and more frequent in use. (3) these kind of jobs is regarded prescriptively as incorrect but it is also used in actual speech. (4) this kind of jobs is also sometimes used in derogatory speech. (5) jobs of this kind is the same as jobs like this.

How come these messy things?!. I feel if we know something about the historical development of 'kind of' we could better understand the reason why the things are so messy. The OED gives some clues about the history.

The OED says in the entry of 'kind'(noun) as follows;
kind of
Later usage transposes the syntactical relation in such constructions as all kinds of trees =trees of all kinds, this kind of thing = a thing of this kind. For the history of this, see kin. As the original genitive phrase was in attributive relation to the following noun, the natural tendency is still to treat all kind of, no kind of, what kind of, etc, and, hence also, the simple kind of (=kinda) as an attributive or adjective phrase qualifying the noun.

The OED says in the entry of 'kin'(noun) as follows;
kin
In Old English the genitive might be either singular or plural, according to sense; aelces or yehwylces cynnes déor, (animals of each or every kind), moniyra cynna scipu, (ships of many kinds), threora cynna treowu, (trees of three kinds). In Middle English, cynnes became kunnes, kynnes, kyns, kins; cynna became kunne, kynne, kyn, kin. For the latter the genitive singular was often substituted; and conversely, kynne, kin, appeared in the singular, especially in the north, where it was probably viewed as an uninflected genitive, as in man son, fader broder, etc. The preceding adjectival word agreeing with kynnes, kins, dropped its genitival s somewhat early; sometimes it was transferred to kinnes, thus alle skynnes (= alles kynnes, alle kynnes), no skynnes, etc. Usually however the two words were at length combined, as in the later forms alkin(s, anykin(s, fele-kin(s, manykin(s, nokin(s or nakin(s, otherkin(s, sere-kin(s, swilkin(s,, same-kin(s, thiskin(s, whilk-kin, whatkin(s. Few of these came down to 1500, though in the north whatkin is found in the 16th century, and survives in Scot and north English as what'n, beside siccan from swilk kin.
The reduction of kin to its simple uninflected form may have been assisted by the equivalent use of manere (manner) from Old French, which is thus found, as threo maner men= men of three kinds. In this, at an early period, we find of inserted: an manere of fisce, al maner o suet spices, the syntactical relation between the words being thus reversed, and although this appears to have rarely extended to kin itself, it affected its later representative kind, also sort, species, etc., so that we now say all kinds of things=things of all kinds. This may have been facilitated by the fact that in the order of the words (as distinct from their syntactical relation) al kins thinges is more closely represented by all kinds of things than by things of all kind.

paco
I'm frustrated. Emotion: sad I'm mad at 'kind of'. I understand your explanation, but what about my post above? Are those questions correct? I can't tell.
(1) this kind of a job is a wrong usage and it must be this kind of job (without 'a/an').

Why is that?

Cambridge says it is okay:
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=43708&dict=CALD
What kind of (a) job are you looking for?

Thanks.
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