Are the following (attempted) generalizations all correct?
1 Brazilians are fun-loving (people)
2 A Brazilian is (a) fun-loving (person)
3 The Brazilians are fun-loving (people)
4 The Brazilian is (a) fun-loving (person)
It seems to me (1) would be by far the most usual and acceptable way to make these kinds of generalizations, while (2) and (3) are possible and (4) very unlikely and maybe frowned upon according to traditional textbook grammar.
Then, much to my surprise, leafing through "The Grammar Book" (Marianne Celce-Murcia and Diane Larsen-Freeman), I saw the following examples/explanation:
"Many reference grammars and ESL/EFL texts (e.g., Quirk and Greenbaum, 1973) cite examples such as the following that state that all four patterns express generic meaning - the implication being that they share the same meaning and use:
1. The German is a good musician
2. A German is a good musician
3. The Germans are good musicians
4. Germans are good musicians
Do most grammarians agree that the four utterances are equally possible?
...Articles are so tricky...
A student of mine recently wrote the following:
" When the President took office and launched the federal program to eradicate hunger from the country, Monsanto offered help to Mr. Graziano, general coordinator of the program, alleging that an increase in the production of grains would certainly mean more food for the Brazilian."
My immediate gut feeling was that she should have written, "...more food for Brazilians", but now IÂ´m not so sure!
Thank you very much for any comments!