Grammar Talks 3-15 Singular vs Plural Nouns

Pack Rat

Meg and Todd discuss if they are pack rats, meaning they keep lots of stuff.

Todd: Meg, I'm going to give you a test.

Meg: Okay.

Todd: It's a personality test.

Meg: Uh-oh.

Todd: And we want to know, are you a pack rat?

Meg: Am I a pack rat?

Todd: Right. Do you save things, do you keep things, or are you a minimalist? Do you have very few things in your house?

Meg: Well, I think I try to be a minimalist, but I'm a little bit of a pack rat.

Todd: Okay. We'll take the test, let's see. Okay, the first question is, how many books do you have in your house?

Meg: Not counting Kindle?

Todd: Not counting Kindle. Physical books, how many books do you have?

Meg: Physical books, I think I have around 15 books.

Todd: Oh. Oh.

Meg: Is that a lot?

Todd: That's bad.

Meg: That's so many?

Todd: Yeah.

Meg: Really?

Todd: So negative-

Meg: Uh-oh.

Todd: Negative ... Boo. Negative one means pack rat [crosstalk 00:00:58] positive one means minimalist. Okay. Next question. How many shoes do you have?

Meg: Can I not answer that question?

Todd: No. You have to say.

Meg: Okay. I think I have 25 pairs of shoes.

Todd: Oh my gosh. I'm giving you negative two points.

Meg: No, just one.

Todd: All right. Next question is, how many blankets do you have?

Meg: Blankets? I think I have 10 blankets.

Todd: Oh my gosh. I knew you were a pack rat. I knew it, I knew it. Now you're negative five.

Meg: But you need blankets for the cold winter.

Todd: You only need one blanket.

Meg: But if you have friends visiting you, you need more blankets.

Todd: Okay.

Meg: I have a lot of friends.

Todd: Wow. That's a good point. Okay, next question. How many umbrellas do you have?

Meg: I think I have around five or six umbrellas.

Todd: Wow. And you live alone, correct?

Meg: Yes. I live alone.

Todd: Okay. So a pack rat is somebody who does not get rid of things they don't need. So, do you need five umbrellas?

Meg: I do need those umbrellas.

Todd: Why do you need ...

Meg: I'll tell you. I'll tell you why. One is a very small umbrella that's easy to carry. Another umbrella is very large for a really rainy day. A third umbrella is decorative and very pretty. The fourth umbrella is for the sun. And the fifth umbrella is clear, to use on a really windy day.

Todd: That's interesting. Now, the fourth umbrella, for the sun, that's called a parasol, correct?

Meg: I guess so, but that sounds a little old-fashioned.

Todd: Okay. I won't consider that. I consider an umbrella for the rain only. So, we'll say four.

Meg: Four.

Todd: So let's just ...

Meg: Do I get a point back?

Todd: You do. But let's do a recap. You are single, you live alone.

Meg: Yes.

Todd: You have four umbrellas.

Meg: Yes.

Todd: You have 10 blankets.

Meg: Yes.

Todd: You have 25 pairs of shoes.

Meg: Correct.

Todd: And you have 15 books?

Meg: 15 books.

Todd: I'm sorry, Meg, but you qualify as a pack rat.

Meg: Oh no.

Todd: You are not a minimalist. We're taking away your minimalist membership.

Meg: Oh. Well I guess I need to get rid of some things, huh? And what about you? Are you a pack rat or a minimalist?

Todd: I'm pretty much a minimalist, I think, because I only have two bags of stuff.

Meg: Only two bags?

Todd: Yeah. So, you can take everything I have and put it in two big suitcases.

Meg: So you don't have 15 books?

Todd: No, I have maybe four books.

Meg: Only four books.

Todd: And they're very small paperback books.

Meg: What about blankets?

Todd: I have one blanket.

Meg: Just one.

Todd: Just one.

Meg: So if visitors come to your house ...

Todd: That is true.

Meg: ... they're out of luck.

Todd: When somebody comes to my house, I ask my neighbor to borrow a blanket. I do. Why?

Meg: You borrow a blanket?

Todd: ... is that funny? Yes. This is-

Meg: Wow.

Todd: I am such a minimalist, my friend told me, he said I am the only person that has ...

Meg: One blanket.

Todd: No. A spoon and a fork.

Meg: A spoon and a fork?

Todd: That's it. I have one.

Meg: Okay. So basically, your house is not prepared for any visitors.

Todd: That's true.

Meg: Whereas my house is prepared for many visitors.

Todd: That's true.

Meg: Okay. Umbrellas?

Todd: I have maybe two.

Meg: Two. So why two?

Todd: Because I can't remember if I have one or I will leave the house and I won't take it, and so then I need to buy one and then...

Meg: And then you get rid of one?

Todd: No, then I just never buy another one. I'm pretty good.

Meg: Oh.

Todd: Only two.

Meg: Okay.

Todd: But shoes?

Meg: Shoes.

Todd: I only have four pairs of shoes.

Meg: What is the purpose of each pair of shoes?

Todd: I have one pair of shoes for work. Nice dress shoes. I have two sneakers, one pair of sneakers for running, jogging, one pair of sneakers for fashion, and one pair of Futsal shoes for soccer. That's it. That's it.

Meg: Wow. Well, I have to say, you really sound like a minimalist.

Todd: Yeah, and you really sound like a pack rat.



(Q) How many bananas do we have?
(A) We have many.
(A) We have some.
(A) We have a few.
(N) We don’t have many.
N) We don’t have any.


(Q) How much milk do we have?
(A) We have a lot.
(A) We have some.
(A) We have a little.
(N) We don’t have a lot.
(N) We don’t have much.
(N) We don’t have any.

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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