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  1. #1
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default singular or plural value

    These prices are all of a piece with the quality of goods.

    Hi,

    Is the bolded part plural or singular in value, IYO? Please explain if you think it is singular.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: singular or plural value

    Each item will have a single quality but there are a number of items, so it is a bit swings and roundabouts. I think the key would be to know how many qualities there were and whether each quality only matched one price or not.

  3. #3
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: singular or plural value

    These prices are all of a piece with the quality of goods.
    The idea I have developed:
    :
    Say we have four of the same watch modell: platinum, bicolor, full-gold, and steel. They all represent equal standard of exquisite craftsmanship. Due to the difference in intrinsic value of the materials used, it follows, however, the price tags will bear different numbers of a monetary unit.

    Several prices correspond to a single quality --plural and singular correspond.

    Let us suppose we have watches of the same material. Modells (quality) differ: cheap quality --> (corresponds to) cheap watch, good quality --> expensive watch.

    Each single quality has a corresponding price tag -- plural and plural correspond.

    conclusion:

    the quality of goods
    although grammatically singular (the head of the NP, quality, is singular), semantically (notionally) plural.

    A group of people is/are -- same story -- notional or grammatical concord.
    Last edited by svartnik; 21-Jul-2009 at 21:59.

  4. #4
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: singular or plural value

    The quality is singular, or it would be the qualities. The PP modifier doesn't change this fact.

  5. #5
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: singular or plural value

    Como estas, Pedro?

    '(T)he quality of goods' is a noun phrase, right? The head of the noun phrase, 'quality', is singular. The whole noun phrase may refer to several qualities, as we have seen. In such a case, would you use a singular verb in another sentence to agree with this noun phrase with the same plural referent (qualities), Pedro?

    You do not like "a group of something" being treated as a plural. Is there something irreconcilable between the two examples to you?

    Saludos,
    svartnik

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