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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    How to choose between singla or plural verb after "all'

    The sentence is :

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.

    The question is :

    Wht the verb is -IS , not -ARE?

    Would you please tell me above it, thank you for your help.[/b]

  2. #2
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.


    i think this sentence can be writen like this:

    All that we want is to be teated as normal people.

    And the word"all" is a special collective noun which is singular indeed just opposed to its surface implication, and we usually omit the word "that" behind it for simple, but if we add it "that",then it's obviously to see that the verb should be IS not ARE since "that" is singular!

    I hope I made myself clear! :p
    lucy

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    All= everything in this sentence, so it is singular. All can be singular or plural:
    All the money was taken.
    All the guests were taken ill.

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    Quote Originally Posted by maktau
    The sentence is :

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.

    The question is :

    Wht the verb is -IS , not -ARE?

    Would you please tell me above it, thank you for your help.[/b]
    In my opinion, want is the essential part of the subject, with All we modifying want. (You could also say, "All we want is to be teated as normal people.")

    It is possible that somebody will disagree. :wink:

    "All" is generally plural, with some exceptions. An example would be the sentence, "All is everything."

    8)

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    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Red, every time I post to this thread, I get an invalid session warning. I am trying this now.

    [Edited to add: It seems to be OK, now.]

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    Quote Originally Posted by maktau
    The sentence is :

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.

    The question is :

    Wht the verb is -IS , not -ARE?

    Would you please tell me above it, thank you for your help.[/b]
    "All" is a pronoun in this sentence. This pronoun can be singular or plural depending on what it refers to. In general, when "all" refers to the totality of something, it is singular. When "all" refers to one or more individual items, it is plural. In your example, all refers to a specific desire, which is singular.

    All of the cake was eaten. (the entire cake - singular)
    All of the cakes were eaten. (more than one cake - plural)

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by maktau
    The sentence is :

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.

    The question is :

    Wht the verb is -IS , not -ARE?

    Would you please tell me above it, thank you for your help.[/b]
    In my opinion, want is the essential part of the subject, with All we modifying want. (You could also say, "All we want is to be teated as normal people.")

    It is possible that somebody will disagree. :wink:

    "All" is generally plural, with some exceptions. An example would be the sentence, "All is everything."

    8)
    I have to disagree. "Want" is the verb of a relative clause in that sentence. The words "all we" do not modify that verb. This is really "All that we want", with "all" as a pronoun and "that we want" as a relative clause.

  9. #9
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    All we want is to be teated as normal people.


    i think this sentence can be writen like this:

    All that we want is to be teated as normal people.

    And the word"all" is a special collective noun which is singular indeed just opposed to its surface implication, and we usually omit the word "that" behind it for simple, but if we add it "that",then it's obviously to see that the verb should be IS not ARE since "that" is singular!

    I hope I made myself clear! :p
    lucy
    Hi Lucy!

    I agree with you that the "that" in the realtive clause is understood in this case. "All we want" = "all that we want".

    However, I have to disagree with the remainder of your answer. "All" is a pronoun in that sentence, not a collective noun. The word "that", in this case, is a function word used to introduce a clause. It has no singular or plural and it certainly doesn't control the verb number.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose between singla or plural verb after "

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by maktau
    The sentence is :

    All we want is to be teated as normal people.

    The question is :

    Wht the verb is -IS , not -ARE?

    Would you please tell me above it, thank you for your help.[/b]
    In my opinion, want is the essential part of the subject, with All we modifying want. (You could also say, "All we want is to be teated as normal people.")

    It is possible that somebody will disagree. :wink:

    "All" is generally plural, with some exceptions. An example would be the sentence, "All is everything."

    8)
    I have to disagree. "Want" is the verb of a relative clause in that sentence. The words "all we" do not modify that verb. This is really "All that we want", with "all" as a pronoun and "that we want" as a relative clause.
    You are probably right about the grammar. However, while you don't need all for that sentence to make sense, you do need want there. You could say, "What we want is to be teated as normal people." The "all" isn't needed at all.

    8)

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