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  1. #1
    jocruz is offline Newbie
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    Default what have been happening or what has been happening????

    1. This is an example of what have been happening.
    2. This is an example of what has been happening.

    Is the first sentence above correct?
    My friends are suggesting that it is incorrect bc "an example" is singular... but "more than one thing" have been happening.

    counterexample:
    This is only an example (one) of the (many) things that have been happening and continue to happen.
    This is an example (one) of what (the many things that) have been happening.

    Regards,

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    The subject of the verb is 'what'; the verb is singular - 'has'
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    jocruz is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The subject of the verb is 'what'; the verb is singular - 'has'
    can "what" be also plural or not? similar to "All"

    Thank you for your answer!

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    I agree that "has" is the correct verb for your main question. In your counterexample, when you add "of the many things" the subject switches from "what" (singular) to "things (plural). In that case, the verb should be "have".

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    I'm sorry, but even when you know there are many things, I'd still say "what has been happening."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    jocruz is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I agree that "has" is the correct verb for your main question. In your counterexample, when you add "of the many things" the subject switches from "what" (singular) to "things (plural). In that case, the verb should be "have".
    But beyond that, "what has been happened" is implicitly stating that "only one thing has happened".
    It is different to: "many things have happened and I have only one example of them"

    1. This is an example of what have been happening. -> Although I have one example, "only one thing has happened"
    2. This is an example of what has been happening. ->Although I have one example,"more than one thing have happened"

    Thank you again!

  7. #7
    jocruz is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    Barb_D:
    That was a good answer!

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    Quote Originally Posted by jocruz View Post
    But beyond that, "what has been happened" is implicitly stating that "only one thing has happened".
    'What has happened?' and 'What has been happening?' are not implicitly stating that only one thing has happened.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  9. #9
    jocruz is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    sorry, I was referring to:
    1. This is an example of what have been happening. -> Although I have one example, "only one thing has been happening"
    2. This is an example of what has been happening. ->Although I have one example,"more than one thing have been happening"

    English is not my first language. When I read "
    have been happening" I think "things have been happening" but when I read: "what has been happening" it invites me to think that "only one thing has been happening".

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: what have been happening or what has been happening????

    Quote Originally Posted by jocruz View Post
    sorry, I was referring to:
    1. This is an example of what have been happening. -> Although I have one example, "only one thing has been happening"
    2. This is an example of what has been happening. ->Although I have one example,"more than one thing have been happening"

    English is not my first language. When I read "
    have been happening" I think "things have been happening" but when I read: "what has been happening" it invites me to think that "only one thing has been happening".
    Native speakers would consider the first sentence incorrect. Compare:

    This is an example of what has been happening
    .
    Here are several examples of what has been happening.
    This is an example of the things that have been happening.
    Here are several examples of the things that have been happening.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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