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I have no brothers

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
Would all of these be used interchangeably? If not, what's the difference between each?
(a) I don't have a brother.
(b) I don't have any brothers.
(c) I have no brother.
(d) I have no brothers.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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Yes, more or less.

The plural versions sound like a general statement. The singular versions sound like they are within a conversation in response to some mistaken reference to your brother.
 

Julie.chan

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I don't like C that much, because it's very similar to "I have zero brother", which would be incorrect. To clarify, C itself isn't incorrect, I just don't like it because of the similarity.
 

johnnyG

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I was going to say that I don't care for (c) and (d), but then I remembered this.

 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, mdchachi, Julimaruchan, OoTmaster, and johnnyG.
In the link of johnnyG, she seems to sing like "I have no mother, no father, no sister, no brother. I am an orphan girl." Is that because it is a part of lyrics?
 

Julie.chan

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If you're asking whether the word choice was poetic in nature, then yes, as always in any halfway decent song. ;) No one would actually talk like that in real life.
 

Isaac

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Hello Hirashin, it may be a bit late to say now but I think people missed 'interchangeable' on your post.
In that case:
(a) is the same as (c) and you can use either,
(b) is the same as (d) and you can use either,
all a b c and d are correct in grammar but a and b are more common.
The difference for a/c and b/d:
a/c are single for when you have one thing, (brother)
b/d are for when you have more than one thing. (brothers)
I know in Japanese you do not need to say if something is plural or not but you do in English, normally by putting an 's' at the end of a noun. (brother -> brothers)
I hope I understood your question and was able to help!
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help, Isaac.
 
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