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  1. #1
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    Default subject-verb agreement

    I wonder what is right in the following sentences. Please answer me.!

    1. Studying English and playing computer games is/are my favorites.( or my favorite??)

    2. Each student and each parent is/are going to take part in the meeting.

    3. Neither my friends nor his friends want/wants to go there.

    which one is right? I look forward to hearing from you!!!!!

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject-verb agreement

    1. (Studying English and playing computer games=2 things) (is)/are my favorite/favorites.

    2. Each student and each parent is/(are) going to take part in the meeting.
    Each (student and parent as one set) is going to ... .

    3. Neither my friends nor his friends (want)/wants to go there. It does not matter the nouns are plural.
    Last edited by svartnik; 15-Jul-2006 at 08:19.

  3. #3
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject-verb agreement

    .
    I'm afraid that I have to disagree on #2 and #3.

    2-- It is a compound subject. One apple and one orange are in the basket; The man and his wife are hungry.

    3-- Neither...nor is a correlative coordinator, so the number of the verb depends on the specific options, and concord depends on proximity:

    Neither my friend nor your friend wants
    Neither my friend nor your friends want
    Neither my friends nor your friend wants
    Neither my friends nor your friends want
    .

  4. #4
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject-verb agreement

    http://www.englishforums.com/English...cnpcz/Post.htm

    Quite interesting opinions
    "When you have an "OR" as part of your subject, the verb takes the singular or plural based on the one closest to it." I personally have never heard that rule.

    Either my brother or my sisters want to vacation in the moutnains, but I forget which.

    Either my sisters or my brother wants ...
    Last edited by svartnik; 15-Jul-2006 at 09:34.

  5. #5
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject-verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    .
    I'm afraid that I have to disagree on #2 and #3.

    2-- It is a compound subject. One apple and one orange are in the basket; The man and his wife are hungry.

    3-- Neither...nor is a correlative coordinator, so the number of the verb depends on the specific options, and concord depends on proximity:

    Neither my friend nor your friend wants
    Neither my friend nor your friends want
    Neither my friends nor your friend wants
    Neither my friends nor your friends want
    .
    "Either is a word that causes endless problems not only for writers but also sometimes for those who wish to guide them. The style manual for the London Times, for instance, states flatly that "neither takes a singular verb, e.g., 'Neither Bert nor Fred has any idea.'" That is true enough, to be sure, for examples involving Bert and Fred or any other two singular items, but what if the items are plural?
    According to the Times guide, we would have to write, "Neither the men nor the women is dressed yet," which would be irregular, to say the very least. And what if there is a mixture of singular and plural? Again, according to the strictures of the Times Guide to English Style and Usage, as it is formally known, we would have to write, "Neither the farmer nor his fifty cows was in the field," and again we would be grammatically eccentric
    The rule, as you will gather, is slightly more complicated than is sometimes taught --- but not so complicated that it should cause such persistent problems. Briefly put, in neither ... nor constructions, the verb should always agree with the noun nearest it. Thus, "Neither De Niro nor his agent were available for comment" should be "was available for comment." Since the noun nearest the verb (agent) is singular, so the verb should be singular. However, when the noun nearest the verb is plural, the verb should also be plural: "Neither the President nor his advisers were available for comment"
    Last edited by svartnik; 15-Jul-2006 at 09:28.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: subject-verb agreement

    I'm not sure that the proximity principle can be stated as a rule, because there is division on this and there are those who do not agree with it, though I generally follow it personally. I would say that it's an area where there are different ways of handling things.

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