student asking question

why is the plural form is used in this context? Would it not make sense if I use "the clock" instead?


Native speaker’s answer


Good question! The answer is that both "let's wind the clocks back" and "let's wind the clock back" are acceptable. However, the plural form of "clocks" is more commonly used with this expression. My guess is that because this expression is aimed at a general audience of many people, it may feel a bit awkward to use the singular form "clock" as it might give the feeling that there is only one clock being shared by all these people. Ex: Let's wind the clocks back to 2018. Ex: If we could wind the clocks back a year, what would you do? If you were speaking about yourself, it might feel more natural to use "clock" in the singular form. Ex: I just want to wind the clock back and do things over. Ex: If only I could wind back the clock..

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