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Fine-Tuning 13, Subject and Verb Must Always Agree

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2003 02:21 am
There's nothing like stating the obvious. I'm sure we all know that subject and verb must always agree.

Sometimes phrases and clauses come between the subject and verb, and these make the agreement a bit tricky. And do we know what to do when there are two parts to the subject separated by the word or?

Jack is having financial difficulties. (Singular subject/singular verb.)

Jack and many other people are having financial difficulties. (Compound subject/plural verb.)

Jack, along with many other people, is having financial difficulties. (One subject/singular verb; the prepositional phrase doesn't affect the subject and verb agreement.)

The blue dress or the purple dress is okay with me. (When two singular subjects are separated by an or, the verb is singular.)

The white orchid or the red roses are perfect for the centerpiece.
The red roses or the white orchid is perfect for the centerpiece. (If you have a singular subject and a plural subject separated by an or, the subject closest to the verb determines whether the verb is singular or plural.)

Any questions?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2003 09:40 am
"My name and address is printed on the box" - this sounds (especially when translated into German) wrong to me.

bartley, however, (ยง 60. subject and verb agreement) tells me that it is wrong.
(I've no difficulties with the second example sentence there! [All: last paragraph, bottom of the page])
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2003 02:41 pm
Re: Fine-Tuning 13, Subject and Verb Must Always Agree
Roberta wrote:

The red roses or the white orchid is perfect for the centerpiece. (If you have a singular subject and a plural subject separated by an or, the subject closest to the verb determines whether the verb is singular or plural.)



According to this rule, I think we can find out tons of the errors everywhere, for example:

Any unauthorized copying or other dealings is strictly prohibited.

Apparently, "is" should be "are" in the sentence above.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2003 09:27 pm
Hi Walter, Thanks for the link. I heartily disagree with the issue of notional agreement as explained in the link. As with almost anything in English, there are exceptions to everything, but I think that American Heritage has taken things a bit too far. "My name and address are printed on the box." I'm with you on this Walter.

Oristar, Yes, you'll find many mistakes, which is one of the reasons why I decided to discuss this issue. I put the information here that I obtain from valid and reliable sources. "Any unauthorized copying or other dealings is strictly prohibited" If I were editing this sentence, I would change "is" to "are." As far as I'm concerned, it's wrong as written.
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