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who is/are corrupt ...

 
 
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 12:28 pm
"People are watching and we know who is corrupt," he said. "If Najib as prime minister choose them as ministers, his political party will lose the next general elections."

Is 'is' correct? Shouldn't it be 'are' to be match 'them', which is plural?

Thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 829 • Replies: 17
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 12:32 pm
@tanguatlay,
No, it's correct. The 'is' (verb) matches 'who' (the subject). Subject-verb agreement.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 12:38 pm
I think "who" by itself is generally singular, though it can be plural, as in the famous line from" Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" when they are about to be shot dead by the posse that's been dogging them relentlessly from country to country, and Paul Newman exclaims in disgust, "Who ARE these people".

In the case above, since "who" comes in the sentence before the plural people, the singular is probably more usual. If the sentence order had been reversed, "who are" might be more likely to be used.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 03:15 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
I think "who" by itself is generally singular, though it can be plural


You're right, it can be. But in the example given it would be more correct to say'... which people are...' etc. Within the context, I believe 'who' should take 'is' as a predicate.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2009 03:20 pm
@tanguatlay,

Both are possible, but I prefer "is".

It needn't refer to just one person.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 May, 2009 09:49 pm
@McTag,
Many thanks to both of you.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 May, 2009 11:20 pm
@tanguatlay,
U were right.
It shoud be "are"
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:07 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
It shoud be "are"


should denotes a personal preference, David, and again, yet again, the grammar of a language is NOT driven by personal preference.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:16 am
tanguatlay, you can follow David's suggestions or not, as you wish. Just don't follow his spelling or you'll flunk.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:24 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
People are watching and we know who is corrupt," he said. "If Najib as prime minister choose them as ministers, his political party will lose the next general elections."

I could go either way on is/are. I can see why are would be correct, but I would probably say 'is' myself, as if I were looking at each potential minister individually on a case by case basis, rather than at all of them as a group.

But two words you defiitely need to change in your next sentence are 'choose 'and 'elections'.
It should read: If Najib, as prime minister ,chooses them as ministers, his political party will lose the next general election.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:28 am
@MontereyJack,
Thanks, Jack.

I don't understand what David is talking about.

U were right.
It shoud be "are"

I cannot find "U were right" in any of my posts in this thread.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:54 am
David unilaterally has decided to reform the entire English-speaking world's spelling by producing what he thinks, with no knowledge of the subject, is "phonetic". "U" is his version of "you". He means he's agreeing with you on the use of "are". Way to go, David, obscuring instead of clarifying.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 12:21 pm
@MontereyJack,
Thanks, Jack. I was made a fool by him.
0 Replies
 
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 12:21 pm
@aidan,
Thanks, Aidan.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 07:37 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
I could go either way on is/are. I can see why are would be correct, but I would probably say 'is' myself, as if I were looking at each potential minister individually on a case by case basis, rather than at all of them as a group.


Odd that you think 'are' is correct yet you'd go with 'is', Aidan.

Trust your innate grammar. It's much more reliable than any of the nonsense that you were taught in school.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:00 am
@JTT,
I think it could be read either way - but my first, and I guess intuitive, reading of it would lead me to say 'is' for the reason I stated.

I also personally feel that sometimes going with what I've been taught is correct, but doesn't come instinctively to me, sounds stilted and 'put on'- although I always try to remember all those rules when I speak/write to a friend of mine who was my English professor.
I think that's a good point for people who are learning English as a second or 'other' language to remember too - sometimes sticking too closely to the lesser known (and used) rules of grammar sort of 'brands' them as a non-native speaker.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:05 am
@aidan,

For what it's worth (that is, a lot) my take on this is the same as aidan's.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 11:37 am
@aidan,
Quote:
I also personally feel that sometimes going with what I've been taught is correct, but doesn't come instinctively to me, sounds stilted and 'put on'- although I always try to remember all those rules when I speak/write to a friend of mine who was my English professor.


If it doesn't come instinctively to you, Aidan, then there's an excellent chance that what you were taught was a prescription and it may well be that it was not part of English at all.

Quote:
I think that's a good point for people who are learning English as a second or 'other' language to remember too - sometimes sticking too closely to the lesser known (and used) rules of grammar sort of 'brands' them as a non-native speaker.


I don't quite follow you here.
0 Replies
 
 

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