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Parentheses and plurals

Do I ignore the parentheses?

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"The tax return (and the tax returns for your children) is on its way"

"The tax return (and the tax returns for your children) are on their way"

Do you ignore the parentheses (so example 1) or do they count (so example 2)?

Replies (22)

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By Kevin Kavanagh
20th Jul 2017 14:45

Wouldn't it be better to write: 'Your tax return, and the tax returns for your children are on their way' ?

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Replying to Kevkava:
By Ruddles
20th Jul 2017 16:09

"Wouldn't it be better to write: 'Your tax return, and the tax returns for your children are on their way' ?"

No. It's all very well saying that the childrens' tax returns are on their way but what is it that you're telling me in respect of my return? Unless you're trying to say "Here's your tax return - the childrens' are on their way."

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By cbp99
20th Jul 2017 14:47

How about
The tax returns (including those for your children) are on their way

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By Democratus
20th Jul 2017 15:02

It should be "The tax returns for you and your children are on their way."

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By Portia Nina Levin
20th Jul 2017 15:45

Your tax return, together with those of your one-hundred children, is on its way.

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joe
By Smokoe Joe
20th Jul 2017 15:16

With the consensus: i.e. none of the above, or should that be neither!

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By SteveHa
20th Jul 2017 15:16

Here's some Tax Returns.

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Replying to SteveHa:
By Democratus
20th Jul 2017 15:43

"Here're some Tax Returns" - surely!

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Replying to Democratus:
By SteveHa
21st Jul 2017 10:26

Suspect that would be down to regional dialect.

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Replying to SteveHa:
By Democratus
21st Jul 2017 12:44

As we say in Norn Irn, right bai.

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By tom123
20th Jul 2017 15:29

see attached :)

Mind you - nice to see questions like this - like the old days..

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Replying to tom123:
By Democratus
20th Jul 2017 15:46

I agree...now if only Swiss Tony would appear to tell us how sending Tax Returns is like making love to a beautiful woman.......

Anyone want to have a go?

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By facucvivas
21st Jul 2017 10:22

There should be no parentheses as the message you are sending needs the children in the sentence

Round brackets (also called parentheses, especially in American English) are mainly used to separate off information that isn’t essential to the meaning of the rest of the sentence. If you removed the bracketed material the sentence would still make perfectly good sense. For example:

Mount Everest (in the Himalayas) is the highest mountain in the world.

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By mike120636
21st Jul 2017 10:28

The answer is yes. The first statement is correct, the second statement would be correct without the parentheses.

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By D V Fields
21st Jul 2017 10:48

Have they arrived yet?

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By [email protected]
21st Jul 2017 11:50

Your first version is technically correct but doesn't sound right. When this occurs, the most elegant solution is to rephrase, finding a form of words which is both grammatically correct and doesn't jar. Respondents have offered several acceptable alternatives

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Replying to [email protected]:
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By facucvivas
21st Jul 2017 12:30

george.gill-AT-themacds.com wrote:

Your first version is technically correct but doesn't sound right. When this occurs, the most elegant solution is to rephrase, finding a form of words which is both grammatically correct and doesn't jar. Respondents have offered several acceptable alternatives

If its technically correct, then its technically right
I didn’t know that using the correct grammar was optional

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Replying to facucvivas:
By Ruddles
21st Jul 2017 12:51

facucvivas wrote:

If its technically correct, then its technically right
I didn’t know that using the correct grammar was optional

Seems that its (sic) indeed optional.

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By Tax Dragon
21st Jul 2017 14:42

I too have that Friday feeling.

There are plenty of superfluous apostrophes littered around other topics, eg 3 Factor's - but most frequently they turn "its" to "it's".

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By D V Fields
21st Jul 2017 15:33

Tax Dragon wrote:

I too have that Friday feeling.

There are plenty of superfluous apostrophes littered around other topics, eg 3 Factor's - but most frequently they turn "its" to "it's".


My favourite is when they put the apostrophe after the s (of its) - and not know it's wrong.
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RLI
By lionofludesch
21st Jul 2017 15:20

Yeah - just leave out the brackets and it's amazing how clear-cut it becomes.

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By [email protected]
22nd Jul 2017 13:38

We all have the option of writing in a way that's both grammatically correct AND good-sounding. Sometimes correct grammar sounds fussy, pedantic or inelegant, and it's worth rephrasing in a way that's still grammatically correct but sounds better.

Incidentally, "If its technically correct, then its technically right I didn’t know that using the correct grammar was optional​"​ isn't quite right. You clearly mean "it's" on the two occasions you write "its". The latter is the possessive form of "it".

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