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  1. #1
    Jaggers is offline Junior Member
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    Default Which of you two boys is/are throwing stones at the cat

    This is a plural/singular verb question, but I can't see it answered elsewhere.

    Elsewhere the consensus is that when you have a collective noun and plural nouns, you can use either a singular or plural verb eg

    A pack of wolves was attacking the sheep or
    A pack of wolves were attacking the sheep

    But what about a sentence like:

    Which of you two boys is/are throwing stones at the cat.

    Can you use either "is" or "are"?

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Which of you two boys is/are throwing stones at the cat

    In your first example, either singular or plural can work depending on whether you see "pack" as a unit (singular) or a number of individuals (plural). In my experience the singular would be more common in the US and plural more common in the UK.

    In the second, I can see no verb other than the singular. "Which" is the subject and is singular. In addition, the question suggests that only one of the two boys is throwing stones.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Which of you two boys is/are throwing stones at the cat

    I agree- the question suggests that one boy is throwing stones, so I would use is. The answer could be that two were, but that is likely to be indicated by something like In fact, both of us were.

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