9. Figures of speech

Singular meaning Plural

To make generalisations more vivid, instead of making a statement in the plural about the class of things or people, a statement is made in the singular about just one as an example of the whole group.


  • A cat has four legs.
    = All cats have four legs.
  • The car is a symbol of industrial society.
    = Cars are a symbol of industrial society.

This is not part of grammar; it is a stylistic option.