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  1. #1
    Anago_Pee is offline Newbie
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    subject verb agreement

    Revise the following sentences, correcting any errors.

    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to.
    ii. There are a large number of birds on that tree.
    iii. Each of the horses rear and threw their riders.
    iv. I am very surprised at his succeeding.
    v. He expected to have failed in that subject.
    vi. It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire.
    vii. Alarmed at the news, the boat was launched at once.
    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs.

  2. #2
    Anago_Pee is offline Newbie
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    Subject verb agreement

    Revise the following sentences, correcting any errors.

    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to.
    ii. There are a large number of birds on that tree.
    iii. Each of the horses rear and threw their riders.
    iv. I am very surprised at his succeeding.
    v. He expected to have failed in that subject.
    vi. It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire.
    vii. Alarmed at the news, the boat was launched at once.
    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs.

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Anago_Pee View Post
    Revise the following sentences, correcting any errors.

    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to. "know"
    ii. There are a large number of birds on that tree. OK
    iii. Each of the horses rear and threw their riders. "reared"
    iv. I am very surprised at his succeeding. "success"
    v. He expected to have failed in that subject. OK
    vi. It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire. "It is I who am..."
    vii. Alarmed at the news, the boat was launched at once. This doesn't make sense, a boat can't be alarmed about news.
    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs. OK
    .

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Anago_Pee View Post
    Revise the following sentences, correcting any errors.

    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to.
    ii. There are a large number of birds on that tree.
    iii. Each of the horses rear and threw their riders.
    iv. I am very surprised at his succeeding.
    v. He expected to have failed in that subject.
    vi. It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire.
    vii. Alarmed at the news, the boat was launched at once.
    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs.
    You try first.

  5. #5
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: subject verb agreement

    /A learner/

    Let me be that one who tries first.

    i. Neither the boys nor he know the one I referred to.
    ii. There is a large number of birds on that tree.
    iii. Each of the horses rears and threw their riders.
    iv. I am very surprised with his succeeding.
    v. He expected to have failed at that subject.
    vi. It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire.
    vii. Alarmed by the news, the boat was launched at once.
    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs.

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Anago_Pee View Post
    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to.
    I would leave that as is or change it to: "He doesn't know, and the boys don't know the one I referred to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anago_Pee View Post
    v. He expected to have failed in that subject.
    I would say:
    .
    He expected to fail in that subject.
    .
    (Otherwise, I agree with bhaisahab.)


  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Re: subject verb agreement

    Note:
    .
    I have to decided to merge the two threads, since they ask the same questions.
    Note to Anago_Pee about question vii:
    .
    Since we know boats can't be alarmed, how should the sentence read?
    Note:
    .
    Please don't ask us to do or correct your homework; this is a place to discuss language.

  8. #8
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: subject verb agreement

    i. Neither the boys nor he knows the one I referred to.

    Correct in AmE, where verbal agreement in the case of an alternative conjunct (NP1 (n)or NP2) is with whichever lies closer to the finite verb (here NP2). Many BrE speakers, however, tend to treat such conjuncts as additive, resulting in a plural verb-form.

    ii. There are a large number of birds on that tree.

    'In' might well be more natural, depending on the position of the birds. 'On' could be interpreted as indicating the very top of the tree, as opposed to the lower branches.

    iii. *Each of the horses rear and threw their riders.

    An unacceptable combination of tenses: either 'rear and throw' or 'reared and threw'. In addition, 'each' is a singular pronoun, and 'their riders' should therefore be replaced by 'its rider' (assuming, of course, only one rider per horse!)

    iv. I am very surprised at his succeeding.

    Possible, but noun 'success' would be more idiomatic.

    v. He expected to have failed in that subject.

    Grammatical, but appropriate only where the act of failing precedes the conception of the expectation. Where, however, the expectation relates to a later event, the simple, not perfect, infinitive 'to fail' would of course be required.

    vi. *It is I who is responsible for the cessation of fire.

    Ungrammatical. Relative pronouns in formal/careful usage take the person and number of their antecedent, and govern the verb accordingly. The antecedent of 'who' is 'I', a first-, not a third-, person pronoun.
    Amend, therefore, to:

    It is I who am responsible...

    vii. !Alarmed at the news, the boat was launched at once.

    A grammatical but absurd sentence, in which it is asserted that a boat felt 'alarmed'! To avoid this kind of so-called 'dangling participle', the sentence needs to be rephrased, using e.g. an absolute construction, as follows:

    The sailors being alarmed at the news,....


    viii. We guarantee to fully satisfy all your needs.

    Acceptable for the vast majority of contemporary speakers.

    A small number of users, however, who hold to the interesting view that English syntax should be based on that of Latin, and that an infinitive should never be separated by anything from the 'to' that precedes it, will tend to maintain vehemently that it should read

    We guarantee fully to satisfy all your needs.

    I would suggest ignoring them. (Unless, of course, you believe that English nouns ought to be declined in 6 cases and that all English verbs should have a supine!)
    Last edited by philo2009; 04-Oct-2010 at 08:31.

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