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  1. #1
    LQZ is offline Member
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    Default than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than have/has been supposed,


    Dear teacher,

    I have asked some native speakers of English and interestingly, their answers somehow are contrary. Here are their answers.

    The easy answer here is "than have been supposed". I think most speakers would prefer this version. Possibly people might be thinking of a "dummy subject" here: it has been supposed that we need to take more effective measures to clarify the circumstances. To use "has been supposed" in your question seems to require that the speaker refer to an "it" that isn't mentioned in the sentence: To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than has been supposed = To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than it was supposed earlier we needed.

    This thinking is too convoluted and disjointed for me. I agree with you: To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than have been supposed.
    It could go either way, but I personally would only use 'has'. The 'have' can't be agreeing with plural 'measures', because you don't suppose measures. (Nor do you suppose circumstances, though that is better, more plausible.) What has been supposed is that certain measures are required - and to clarify the circumstances requires more than this. It requires more than has been supposed. There is no overt dummy 'it' for the verb to agree with, but this is the meaning: the situation, not the measures, is what is being supposed.
    Now I am thoroughly confused. Seems either have or has is acceptable. But I do need your help to make sure which one is the correct answer, in terms of academic knowledge. Thanks.


    LQZ

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    Quote Originally Posted by LQZ View Post
    To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than have/has been supposed,


    Now I am thoroughly confused. Seems either have or has is acceptable. But I do need your help to make sure which one is the correct answer, in terms of academic knowledge. Thanks.


    LQZ
    I hate to potentially confuse you further, but I would have said:

    To clarify, the circumstances require more effective measures than had been supposed (or, preferably, had been realised).

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    I think "to clarify the circumstances" is the subject. Hence "requires." "To clarify ... requires."

    I don't agree with the rest. I would make "have" agree with "measures."

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I think "to clarify the circumstances" is the subject. Hence "requires." "To clarify ... requires."

    I don't agree with the rest. I would make "have" agree with "measures."
    Ah, I didn't read "To clarify the circumstances" as being the verb. I thought the person wanted to clarify THAT the circumstances require... hence my addition of the comma and the removal of the "s" from "requires".

    As far as the rest goes, I guess it's a matter of working out who has been supposing, or even if it's active or passive.

    It has long been supposed that ...
    We have supposed, in the past, that ...

    "... more effective measures than ??? been supposed." - Supposed by who? Surely it's not the measures that are doing the supposing? It's people. Up until the point of the article being written, people had supposed that certain measures were required, but now, for some reason, it is clear that more effective measures are required. I still come up with "had".

    My brain's starting to hurt!

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    "... more effective measures than ??? been supposed." - Supposed by who? Surely it's not the measures that are doing the supposing? It's people.

    My brain's starting to hurt!
    I agree with the above but I think it should be "has been supposed", that is, up to the present moment in time.

  6. #6
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    How about:

    To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than (those which) have been supposed ( by those concerned up to now),

    *To clarify the circumstances requires more effective measures than (those which) has been supposed (by those concerned up to now),


    I vote for 'have',

    There should be a law against ellipsis, death penalty every time!

  7. #7
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: than HAVE/HAS been supposed

    I would say 'Clarifying the circumstances requires more effective measures than have been supposed.'

    '.....than had been supposed.' would also work.

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