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  1. #1
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    Default Subject and Verb

    What is the subject and what's the verb for this sentence:

    http://www.mytelus.com/community/art...icleID=1823930
    1. Federal child pornography laws have been a bone of contention for nearly a decade, pitting police and victims' rights advocates against civil libertarians and creative artists. (How come 'advocates' is plural? )

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    What is the subject and what's the verb for this sentence:

    http://www.mytelus.com/community/art...icleID=1823930
    1. Federal child pornography laws have been a bone of contention for nearly a decade, pitting police and victims' rights advocates against civil libertarians and creative artists. (How come 'advocates' is plural? )

    Thanks.
    Subject- Federal child pornography laws
    Verb- have been
    Advocate= a person who supports something, and there are many of them, hence the plural.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: Subject and Verb

    1. "Federal child pornography laws" is the subject of "have been"
    2. the gerund form phrase "pitting police and victims' rights" is the subject of "advocates" and the "s" in advocates is the third person singular "S" not the plural one.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    tdol:Advocate= a person who supports something, and there are many of them, hence the plural.
    I thought about that too. It seems odd. Like the flow of the sentence doesn't seem right.

    Abdo:
    2. the gerund form phrase "pitting police and victims' rights" is the subject of "advocates" and the "s" in advocates is the third person singular "S" not the plural one.
    "pitting police and victims' rights" Why is it third person singular?
    For eg.
    A cat and a dog don't get along. ('Don't' is not 'doesn't' so why is 'advocates' not 'advocate'?)

    I understand that this is the subject:
    "pitting police and victims' rights" is the subject of "advocates"
    But how come not like this:
    Bold=subject
    pitting police and victims' rights are the subject of advocate

    Thanks.
    Last edited by jack; 24-Jan-2005 at 03:10.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: Subject and Verb

    Consider this sentence:
    "Meeting Jack and David was not easy"
    So "meeting" is the gerund and takes a singular verb. while "Jack and David" is the object of "meeting"
    In the same way: Pitting takes a singular verb which is "advocates" while "police and victims' rights" is the object of "Pitting"

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdo
    1. "Federal child pornography laws" is the subject of "have been"
    2. the gerund form phrase "pitting police and victims' rights" is the subject of "advocates" and the "s" in advocates is the third person singular "S" not the plural one.
    This analysis is incorrect. 'Advocates' is a plural noun, not a third person singular verb. If it were a third person singular verb, the sentence would be a comma splice and incorrect. Advocates (of victims' rights) and the police have been placed in conflict with the other parties.

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdo
    Consider this sentence:
    "Meeting Jack and David was not easy"
    So "meeting" is the gerund and takes a singular verb. while "Jack and David" is the object of "meeting"
    In the same way: Pitting takes a singular verb which is "advocates" while "police and victims' rights" is the object of "Pitting"
    The two sentence cannot be compared in this way- they are not the same.

  8. #8
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    I thought about that too. It seems odd. Like the flow of the sentence doesn't seem right.


    "pitting police and victims' rights" Why is it third person singular?
    For eg.
    A cat and a dog don't get along. ('Don't' is not 'doesn't' so why is 'advocates' not 'advocate'?)

    I understand that this is the subject:


    But how come not like this:
    Bold=subject
    pitting police and victims' rights are the subject of advocate

    Thanks.
    It isn't the subject because 'advocates' is not a verb here. However, look at this:
    Smoking cigarettes is bad for you.
    Here, we subject is 'smoking cigarettes', not cigarettes, so it is singular.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Re: Subject and Verb

    I read the sentence again.
    I think you're right tdol
    advocates here is a noun not verb.
    so the sentence can be analysed like this:
    "police and victims' rights advocates" = object of "pitting"

    "police and victims' rights advocates" means "those who advocate police and victims rights"
    "police and victim rights" = adjective for the noun "advocates"

    We pit (sb/sth) against (sb/sth)
    Last edited by Abdo; 24-Jan-2005 at 03:59.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Subject and Verb

    I agree with tdol's analysis.

    Simple Subject: laws
    Verb: have been
    Object: a bone of contention

    Simple Subject: pitting (gerund, singular noun)
    Verb: advocates(singular verb)

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