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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > cultural or grammatical?    

cultural or grammatical?


cultural or grammatical?
hi everybody, i teach english in brazil and we have a day to celebrate all mothers. we name this celebration with the word mother in the plural form, in my school we prepared some posts and i wrote "happy mothers � day", a friend said that the correct form it is "happy mother �s day", i explained i had written that way considering the rules for genitive in plural form, but he told me that it is a cultural issue, in english it is written in singular form. as i never lived abroad i am in doubt about it. i would like to have a clear explanation about this. i also want to thank everybody for sharing ideas with me through this website.

6 May 2009      

United States

Well, your friend is right, it is Happy Mother �s Day.  However, being a typical native speaker, I have absolutely NO idea why that is.  I could only guess that we only have ONE mother each, and we only think of OUR mother on that day???  Yeah, dumb answer, but I would say it �s cultural.  
Sorry for the lack of explanation. 

6 May 2009     

sea camel

Well, I found a possible explanation on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother �s_Day
Good luck!

6 May 2009     


Wow, thanks Kristian. You �ve just saved me from making a fool of myself. I �m English, and like to think I �m well educated, but I was just about to say that it should be "mothers � day" (being a day for all mothers), until I read the Wikipedia article.
Angie - I was about to suggest you were wrong, so now I �m about to apologise.
I still think all mothers deserve recognition, not just our own.
All the best,

6 May 2009     

Hong Kong

I �ve been around a while and it has always been Mother �s Day.  It �s the day for "Mother".

6 May 2009     


i really want to thank the ones who answered my question concerning the correct way to write "happy mother �s day". it was really helpful, and now i have an explanation about the reason it is written this way if a student or someone else asks me about. thanks a lot for all you.

8 May 2009