How many people are in a group?

Monday, September 10, 2012

When talking about a group of people, express the quantity by using there are (or there were for the past tense).

It seems obvious, but many languages literally translate this incorrectly. For example, I often hear "we are in five" when it should be "there are five of us".

If you are part of the group, of us will explain that.
If you are talking about other people or other things, of them is used to indicate that.

Incorrect: They were in two.
Correct: There were two of them.

So when you talk about group experiences, be aware of the correct usage and try to practice in any situation: There are three of us in the elevator. There are ten of us in the office. There were four of them in the car.

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