Children’s Riddle

The father of my son has four children. My son is my only child. How many children do we have in total together?

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14 Comments

  1. Dmitry:

    Four children

  2. Petter:

    Umm, four?

  3. Jesse:

    I’d go with one.

  4. Khalil Sawant:

    One,
    The speaker is a lady and her husband has 3 kids by another marriage

  5. swiety:

    Hmm, total together, one. Total, four?

    http://sketchtoy.com/19782308 🙂

  6. Felician:

    Four?

  7. hoppa:

    one

  8. Konstantin:

    Four (if your son is your common child) or five (if your son has another father, and all 4 his brothers-or-sisters-in-law has another mother).

  9. fibonicci:

    i think one 🙂

  10. Andrew:

    “Together” as in “added together”, or as in “with each other”?

    Depending on this, four or one.

  11. Tanya Khovanova:

    You are all right. Depending on the meaning the answer is 1 or 4. I am glad no one said 5.

  12. Primecrank:

    Logically, one or four, yes.

    But grammatically, I’d say one – the question says “in total together”. “Together is redundant unless it modifies the meaning of “in total”. The answer to how many children “in total” is four, but three of those aren’t “together”.

    So it probably depends whether you put more store in logic or grammar…

  13. Tanya Khovanova:

    Primecrank,

    I love your explanation. Initially I wrote this puzzle hoping that people would answer 5. But with my grammar mistake, it became a more interesting puzzle.

  14. Charlotte:

    I thought the puzzle’s solution depended not on logic or grammar, but on your expectations of family relationships (perhaps a linguistic condition – how do you define ‘together’?). Do you consider your stepchildren to be children that you and your partner parent “together”? Do you all live together in the same house? Does the father of the son live separately from the mother and the son and have no involvement in their lives? Does the father live with his son and the mother but has other children, some of whom live with the step mother and their half-brother, some of whom live with their birth mother? Do the stepchildren consider their stepmother to be their more a mother than their birth-mother or equal to their birth-mother? Do they call her “mom”? The answer could either be 4 (total children) or 1 (total mutual children), but it could equally be 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 (total children we parent together as “our children”).

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