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  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default A grammar question...

    Okay, I'm the first to admit that my grammar is a bit dodgy!

    In the school book today, there was the following sentence:

    "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    I swear that we usually ask "How much does a hamburger and a hot dog cost" - am I right or wrong?
    We could also ask:

    "How much is a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    "How much would a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Please tell me I'm right! :wink:

    Shane

  2. #2
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    In the school book today, there was the following sentence:

    "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    I swear that we usually ask "How much does a hamburger and a hot dog cost" - am I right or wrong?
    We could also ask:

    "How much is a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    "How much would a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Please tell me I'm right! :wink:

    Shane
    I get confused too, maybe you are right by using"does" or "would",Shane!

  3. #3
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    I get confused too, maybe you are right by using"does" or "would",Shane!
    Thanks Lucy! I'm convinced I'm right :D
    However, I'm waiting for one of the experts to come along IYKWIM (If You Know What I Mean) :wink:

    P.S. NOT that I am calling you a 'non expert'!!!

  4. #4
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Donot worry, Shane!

    It doesn't matter to be regarded as a layman for me, because I 'll be bold to participate any discussion or topics and raising questions without any pressure freely. :)

    Lucy--a proud English layman ;)

  5. #5
    Red5 is online now Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Hi Shane,

    I'm definitely on your side with this one, but I'll let the real teachers come in and have their say for a definitive answer.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  6. #6
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    Donot worry, Shane!

    It doesn't matter to be regarded as a layman for me, because I 'll be bold to participate any discussion or topics and raising questions without any pressure freely. :)

    Lucy--a proud English layman ;)
    Way to go Lucy; confidence is the key to success :D

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    You often find a singular verb in sentences like yours, because it sounds better next to a singualr noun, even though there are two. It's especially common with 'there is a hot dog and a hamburger'. However, 'do' sounds better to me in this case. In BE, we are relaxed about this issue, but Americans tend to be a bit more picky.

  8. #8
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Thanks for clearing that up, Tdol :D

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    You're welcome.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    Okay, I'm the first to admit that my grammar is a bit dodgy!

    In the school book today, there was the following sentence:

    "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    I swear that we usually ask "How much does a hamburger and a hot dog cost" - am I right or wrong?
    We could also ask:

    "How much is a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    "How much would a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"

    Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Please tell me I'm right! :wink:

    Shane
    I would say "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?" just the same as I would say "How much do they cost?" Sorry to be disagreeable. :wink:

    The other sentences are, IMO, perfectly fine. I judge them as being equivalent to "What is the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?" with "cost" being the object of "is".

    8)

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