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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Can either verb be used?

    1. The brachiosarus was/were the heaviest of the dinosaurs.

    2. The longest of the diplodocus (a species of dinosaurs) was/were 27 metres long.

    Can I use 'was' if I perceive each of the two species of dinosaurs above as a group or 'were' when I see them as individual dinosaurs of that species?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 18-Feb-2012 at 16:52.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Can either verb be used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    The brachiosaurus was/were the heaviest of the dinosaurs.

    Can I use 'was' if I perceive the brachiosarus as a group or 'were' when I see them as individual dinosaurs of that species?

    Thanks.
    You can only use "was" in this sentence. You can write "Brachiosauruses were ..."

  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Can either verb be used?

    Thanks, Raymott.

    Just to confirm. In the following sentence, I should use 'was'. Am I right?

    2. The longest of the diplodocus (a species of dinosaurs) was/were 27 metres long.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can either verb be used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    2. The longest of the diplodocus (a species of dinosaurs) was/were 27 metres long.
    I wouldn't write this sentence. Yes, 'was' would be correct, but that's implying that you know there was one diplodocus that measured 27 metres, and that this was the longest.

    It would be far better to write, "Diplodocus grew up to 27 metres long."; "The largest diplodocuses were up to 27 metres long."; "The largest diplodocus skeleton yet found is 27 metres long."

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