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  1. #1
    yena is offline Newbie
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    Default Verbs: expenses is or are??

    Hi, everyone.

    I was reading a book, the following expression came up, confused me again about verbs..

    Could anyone explain which is right? Why is it right?

    Clients resent the investigator's expenses (1) as it is, and the ten
    percent on top of the fee and the expenses (2) was a significant deterrent.

    (1) As it is or as they are??


    (2) was or were?


    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Verbs: expenses is or are??

    You're thinking that "expenses" is the antecedent of both pronouns. It isn't.

    "As it is" is an idiomatic phrase. It can go at the beginning of the sentence: "As it is, clients resent...". It is a way of stressing just how bad something is: the first part of the sentence is quite bad, the second part is worse.

    "We can't pay our bills as it is [that's bad enough], but now we have to pay more taxes as well [that makes things even worse]."

    In (2), the antecedent is not expenses, but the ten percent, which is singular. There are the fee and expenses, but on top of those (i.e., added to those) is another 10%. It is this 10% -- the 10% which goes on top of the other things -- which acts as a significant deterrent. The phrase "on top of the fee and expenses" simply describes which 10% we're talking about.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Verbs: expenses is or are??

    Quote Originally Posted by yena
    Hi, everyone.
    I was reading a book, the following expression came up, confused me again about verbs..
    Could anyone explain which is right? Why is it right?
    Clients resent the investigator's expenses (1) as it is, and the ten
    percent on top of the fee and the expenses (2) was a significant deterrent.
    (1) As it is or as they are??
    (2) was or were?
    Many thanks.
    (1) "As it is". "As it is" is an atomic idiom. It exists independently of the sentence you put it in, so it remains invariant to the number or tense of other nouns or verbs in the sentence. The question is trying to trick you by distracting you with a plural object that is irrelevant.

    (2) "was". The "ten percent" was the deterrent, not "the fee and the expenses". "on top of the fee and the expenses" is a parenthetic clause inserted into the main clause.

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