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  1. #1
    Conatus's Avatar
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    Default When an individual has/have [?] a unique idea (...), it is said that they have (...)

    Hi teachers and colleagues!

    I've just de-recorded this phrase out of a podcast audio file:

    "When an individual have a unique idea or arise at a unique solution to a problem, it is said that they have thought 'out of the box'.

    Then I looked up for "an individual has" vs. "an individual have" at Google Book Ngram:

    Google Ngram Viewer

    And I've notice that there are millions of results to "an individual have" on Google Search:

    https://www.google.com.br/#q=%22an+individual+have%22

    In the above phrase, is the verb conjugated in the 3rd. person plural form -- although "individual" is necessarily just one person -- for a question of parallelism with "they" used in place of "he or she"?

    If so, I'd be wondering/I'd wonder [?] whether one could make the same phrase in the following form:

    "When an individual has a unique idea or arises at a unique solution to a problem, it is said that he or she has thought 'out of the box'.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: When an individual has/have [?] a unique idea (...), it is said that they have (.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conatus View Post
    "When an individual have a unique idea or arise at a unique solution to a problem, it is said that they have thought 'out of the box'”.
    That is not correct. 'Have' needs to be 'has'. 'Arise' needs to be 'arrives'.

    Then I looked up for "an individual has" vs. "an individual have" at Google Book Ngram: Google Ngram Viewer

    And I've notice that there are millions of results to "an individual have" on Google Search:
    Most of these involve an auxiliary: Can/does/will/etc an individual have ...

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: When an individual has/have [?] a unique idea (...), it is said that they have (.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conatus View Post
    If so, I'd be wondering/I'd wonder [?] whether one could make the same phrase in the following form:

    "When an individual has a unique idea or arises at a unique solution to a problem, it is said that he or she has thought 'out of the box'”.
    Yes, if you change arises to arrives.

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