the young people/young people

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the young people/young people

Post by navi » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:41 am

One person says: "In our city, a lot of people go to parks."

Another replies:

1) It's young people who do that.
2) It's the young people who do that.

3) Young people do that.
4) The young people do that.

Are all the sentences' acceptable in this context?
Do they have different meanings in this context?
Does '2' and '4' necessarily imply that all of them go to parks?


Re: the young people/young people

Post by Phil White » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:55 pm

Grammatically, they are all fine.

They are all generalizations (with or without the article). The generalization is stronger with the article, but is never taken to imply that all young people behave in the same way.

If you were to dissect the sentences far too finely, 1 and 3 would mean that "the people who do that are young", whereas 2 and 4 would mean "This is the (kind of) thing that (most or all) young people do".

In reality, in spoken English, that distinction is not there.
Signature: Phil White
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