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  1. #1
    wotcha's Avatar
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    Default Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    1.Either the budgies or the cat has to go.

    2.Either the budgies or the cat have to go.

    Which one is grammatical?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Which one do you think is correct? There are many previous threads and articles on this. You may wish to google either or neither nor verb agreement.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    wotcha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Which one do you think is correct? There are many previous threads and articles on this. You may wish to google either or neither nor verb agreement.

    Of course 1 is correct but one grammar page on the web says we say like sentence 2,

    especially when one of the subjects is plural noun. That's why I put this question.


    P.S. I tried to find the grammar page in vain, but here I found one who had come across the same page.

    http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/p...or-nor---.aspx
    Last edited by wotcha; 17-Jun-2013 at 16:30.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    Of course 1 is correct but one grammar page on the web says we say like sentence 2,

    especially when one of the subjects are plural nouns. That' why I put this question.
    Hello, wotcha.
    I believe the verb should agree with the closest noun.

    So,
    1.Either the budgies or the cat has to go.
    or
    2.Either the cat or the budgies have to go.

    Please go to: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...er-either.html

    (I didn't know what 'budgies' were.)

    Please wait for native speakers to comment.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    There have been arguments about this before. You could avoid the issue by saying "Either the budgies go or the cat does!"
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Wotcha, you may find the following explanation helpful. I posted it in a different thread:

    When a subject is made up of two or more items joined by (either)...or... or (neither)...nor... we use a singular verb if the last item is singular (although a plural verb is sometimes used in informal English), and a plural verb if the last item is plural:


    • Either the station or the cinema is a good place to meet, (or ...are... in informal English)
    • The President or his representatives are to attend the meeting.


    If the last item is singular and previous item plural, we can use a singular or plural verb:


    • Either the teachers or the principal is to blame for the accident. (or ...are to blame...)

    Advanced Grammar in Use (second edition) - Martin Hewings, p. 82
    So, I'd say that #1 is the safest and best choice, though #2 is also possible.

    I can highly recommend this book. It's a great reference and it has a ton of exercises.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 17-Jun-2013 at 19:34.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    ...
    (I didn't know what 'budgies' were.)

    ...
    Short for 'budgerigars' - colourful birds native to Australia but common as pets in the UK (and probably elsewhere). They're sort of 'mini-parrots'.

    b

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Short for 'budgerigars' - colourful birds native to Australia but common as pets in the UK (and probably elsewhere). They're sort of 'mini-parrots'.

    b
    We usually call them parakeets in the US.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Parakeets and budgerigars are very different birds in the UK.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Either the budgies or the cat has/have to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Parakeets and budgerigars are very different birds in the UK.
    What are they in the UK?

    Budgerigar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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