Lv 5

Which sentence is correct?

A, The punch card is a nineteenth-century technology.

B. Punch cards are a nineteenth-century technology.


10 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    I am not sure I would speak of a (or the) punch card as a technology, but there is nothing grammatically incorrect with doing so.

    I would prefer "punch cards" to mean the use of punch cards as a generic thing. So, I would say "punch cards are a 19th century technology".

    Cell phones are a recent invention = generic idea of cell phones rather than the specific idea of the cell phone as a unique thing.  But it is possible to actually say "the telephone" and mean the invention and device itself rather than the generic idea of phones: The telephone came into use in the late 1800s.

    So, the short answer is that you may say either, but the implication (meaning) of each is slightly different.  One means that the things existed and were common in the 19th century, the other says that the use of those things in general was already true in the 19th century.

    And yes, the punch card does have an origin as a way to control weaving machines (and player pianos, actually, although sometimes the punch ribbon was used instead).  The adaptation to computer use was much later.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Option 'B' is the better of the two options.

  • 4 weeks ago

    B. Sounds better. As you are talking about other inventions like tablulating machines. And other inventions that go along.

    But you can say both in American English and be understood.

    Source(s): American English speaker for 68 years.
  • 4 weeks ago

    Both are just fine. I have used both sentence forms. I would probably use A over B though. 

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  • .
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago

    American here.

    The trick to understanding which sentence to use is understanding the “collective noun.” These are nouns that appear as plural (or are understood as plural) but are treated as a singular subject (or object.)

    In the context of what is to be conveyed by the sentence, “punch cards” aren’t to be understood as a multiple of singular objects, but as a single group of things. They are being described as ONE technology, if that helps.

    That makes the second sentence awkward with the plural verb.

    Considering this information, it’s my opinion that the first sentence, with the singular verb and the singular noun sounds better.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Both are. The choice is up to the writer.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    To me, as a native user in Britain for over 70 years, it is not clear that either form is 'wrong'. On the whole I think that form B would be used by most Britons. Some might omit 'a'.

    Await answers from Americans etc.

  • 1 month ago

    Neither can be underrated.

    To put stress on the word, " the" , the definite article is used and it's correct.

    To make a general statement, no article can be used which happens in the second sentence.

  • 1 month ago

    both sentences work well

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I think A is more specific. But both are correct.

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