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  1. #1
    steve69 is offline Newbie
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    Default general public-doesn't or don't

    hello

    I'm writing a paper and I'm stuck. Can't seem to decide which is the correct one to use in this phrase ' to communicate to the general public that (doesn’t/don't) speak the language'. I used the word don't at first but just doesn't seem right...



    thanks


  2. #2
    xpert's Avatar
    xpert is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by steve69 View Post
    hello

    I'm writing a paper and I'm stuck. Can't seem to decide which is the correct one to use in this phrase ' to communicate to the general public that (doesn’t/don't) speak the language'. I used the word don't at first but just doesn't seem right...



    thanks

    Both are correct.
    Click here
    Also here

  3. #3
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    I would disagree. If you reduce the sentence to just the subject and verb, i.e. "the public does" or "the public do", it would only sound correct to use "does." Sometimes just putting the subject and the verb together will help you better hear what sounds more natural. Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    steve69 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    thanks, that does help. that makes sense.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by Profesoressa View Post
    I would disagree. If you reduce the sentence to just the subject and verb, i.e. "the public does" or "the public do", it would only sound correct to use "does." Sometimes just putting the subject and the verb together will help you better hear what sounds more natural. Hope that helps.
    As you are American, so you don't agree to use "Plural Verb" after public, but in british english will use "Plural Verb" after "public", "department"......etc. This answer can be found in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5 Edition:

    public 2 S2 W2 noun

    1 the public [ also + plural verb British English ] ordinary people who do not work for the government or have any special position in society : The meeting will be open to the general public .
    Police warned members of the public not to approach the man, who may be armed.
    On the whole, the public are conservative about education.

    2 in public if you do something in public, you do it where anyone can see OPP in private : Her husband was always nice to her in public.
    wash/air your dirty linen/laundry (in public) at dirty 1 ( 7 )

    3 [ singular, U also + plural verb British English ] the people who like a particular singer, writer etc : He is adored by his public.
    The theatre-going public are very demanding.





  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by steve69 View Post
    hello

    I'm writing a paper and I'm stuck. Can't seem to decide which is the correct one to use in this phrase ' to communicate to the general public that (doesn’t/don't) speak the language'. I used the word don't at first but just doesn't seem right...

    thanks

    If the whole public doesn't speak the language, I'd write:
    to communicate to the general public, who don't speak the language.

    If only some of the public doesn't speak the language, I'd write:
    to communicate to those of the general public who don't speak the language.

    PS: I've just realised I've used 'doesn't' in my sentences, and 'don't' in yours. I'd still write your sentences that way.

  7. #7
    anishjp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If the whole public doesn't speak the language, I'd write:
    to communicate to the general public, who don't speak the language.

    If only some of the public doesn't speak the language, I'd write:
    to communicate to those of the general public who don't speak the language.

    PS: I've just realised I've used 'doesn't' in my sentences, and 'don't' in yours. I'd still write your sentences that way.
    Hi,

    So which is the correct usage?. Looking for replies from Admin and Bhaisahab too!

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by anishjp View Post
    Hi,

    So which is the correct usage?. Looking for replies from Admin and Bhaisahab too!
    The answer is that the answer depends on your audience.

    If American, treat "public" as a singular.

    If British, treat "public" as plural.

    An American will say "Congress is going to raise taxes."

    A Brit will say "Parliament are going to raise taxes."

    There is no universal answer that covers all English speakers.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    Quote Originally Posted by anishjp View Post
    Hi,

    So which is the correct usage?.
    I would not have used both if both were not correct, at least in my dialect.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: general public-doesn't or don't

    The consensus is that neither is the "correct" usage. In sum, the answer is It depends.


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