Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    Hi,
    My first language is French, but, for a living, I write, in English, software user's guides. Every now and then I do get confused
    Last Friday, I wrote, in a software manual, that for a user to proceed to the next step, "there has to be 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder...". The editor du jour said that I should have written "there have to be 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder" because 3 certificates is plural". Which form is right?
    In the mean time, I have replaced the whole thing with, You must have 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder of the ActivCard Gold Utilities Window
    Thanks,
    Emmanuel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    11
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by name_1
    Hi,
    My first language is French, but, for a living, I write, in English, software user's guides. Every now and then I do get confused
    Last Friday, I wrote, in a software manual, that for a user to proceed to the next step, "there has to be 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder...". The editor du jour said that I should have written "there have to be 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder" because 3 certificates is plural". Which form is right?
    In the mean time, I have replaced the whole thing with, You must have 3 certificates listed in the Digital Certificates folder of the ActivCard Gold Utilities Window
    Thanks,
    Emmanuel
    Although what you originally wrote was OK, it didn't read that well. Your editors suggestion of have is better. Your sentence of "You must have" is much better as it is stronger English and makes it very clear that you must have these certificates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    Thanks for responding. Absolutely, the last sentence is much stronger (you must have...)

    So, both are grammatically correct, "there has to be 3 certificates" and "there have to be 3 certificates"?
    I am not sure I understand why, but intuitively I thought that "there has to be 3 certificates" was correct.

    As I was rereading my question and your answer I realized that I should have introduced myself as follows:

    Although my mother's tongue is French I write software user's guides in the English language.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    Thanks for responding. Absolutely, the last sentence is much stronger (you must have...)

    So, both are grammatically correct, "there has to be 3 certificates" and "there have to be 3 certificates"?
    I am not sure I understand why, but intuitively I thought that "there has to be 3 certificates" was correct.

    As I was rereading my question and your answer I realized that I should have introduced myself as follows:

    Although my mother's tongue is French I write software user's guides in the English language.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    The plural form 'have' is better because there are 3 of them. You will hear the singular being used, but I can't see much reason for it here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There has to be or there have to be, that is the question.

    I think 'There have to be" is the correct usage....

Similar Threads

  1. Question with a Question
    By Kristin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2006, 14:26
  2. Answering a question with a question
    By Sarah Shaw-Gray in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2006, 13:33
  3. Response to a question - 'may i' and 'shall i'
    By englishstudent in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 20-Sep-2005, 06:28
  4. Same question in point form
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Letter Writing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-May-2005, 07:38

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •