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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    many a boy and girl is/are

    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.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Many are.

  3. #3
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    blackdie is offline Newbie
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Many + a + Singular noun + IS

    This is a pattern :)

  4. #4
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    "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 14:16. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post

    Are both the singular and plural form of the verb fine after the phrase 'Many a boy and girl'?

    ***** 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 12:51.

  6. #6
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (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 ....]
    Well spotted, Parser. I found page 758, but didn't notice page 959.

  7. #7
    Kiwi watcher is offline Newbie
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    A boy or a girl ,,, no confusion then whether it remains singular or plural .

  8. #8
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi watcher View Post
    A boy or a girl ,,, no confusion then whether it remains singular or plural .
    We noted four months ago that both forms are possible.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: many a boy and girl is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi watcher View Post
    A boy or a girl ,,, no confusion then whether it remains singular or plural .
    Please use correct punctuation. We don't put a space before a full stop or a comma. There is no need to ever use three commas in a row.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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