- For Teachers
Many a boy and girl is pleased with a trifle of money.
How to earn money is what many a boy and girl are asking this season, and to the question the Farm Journal has an answer : ...
Are both the singular and plural form of the verb fine after the phrase 'Many a boy and girl'?
Thank you in advance.
Many + a + Singular noun + IS
This is a pattern :)
"Grammatical concord is usually obeyed for [....] many a athough it may conflict with notional concord:
Many a member has protested against the proposal."
Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey and Svartik, Jan (1985.758) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: Longman
Last edited by 5jj; 18-Jan-2012 at 13:16. Reason: typo
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) 5jj has referenced Professor Quirk's famous book. According to him (page 959),
there is "uncertainty" where the construction is followed by "singular heads
conjoined by and."
(a) Professor Quirk gives this example:
Many a boy and girl ?are/?is left homeless. [My note: Many a boy and many a girl ARE ....]
(2) Thus, I agree with Soothing Dave: "Are" sounds more natural in your sentence.
P.S. Maybe (maybe): "Many a boy or girl is left homeless."
Last edited by TheParser; 18-Jan-2012 at 11:51.
A boy or a girl ,,, no confusion then whether it remains singular or plural .