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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Is the phrase in bold correct? Should it be 'prevent' or 'prevents'?

    We have to prepare ourselves when our beloved one passes away. We must not become emotional when upset, cry or shout, “Please don’t go; don’t leave us behind.” This attitude or remark becomes the devil’s workings which prevent/prevents the person from passing away peacefully. It does not mean we become the devil but our attitude, behaviour and remark become the workings of the devil. Hence, we must be careful and exercise self-control.

    Is the phrase in bold correct? Should it be 'prevent' or 'prevents'? Are there any other errors?

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 10-Jul-2009 at 01:22.

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the phrase in bold correct? Should it be 'prevent' or 'prevents'?

    If you want to use "workings" then it's plural so it should be prevent.

    But it's odd phrasing. Is "the devil's workings" common in your language?

  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is the phrase in bold correct? Should it be 'prevent' or 'prevents'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If you want to use "workings" then it's plural so it should be prevent.

    But it's odd phrasing. Is "the devil's workings" common in your language?
    No. I think it should be 'the works the devil'. Is this phrase natural?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Is the phrase in bold correct? Should it be 'prevent' or 'prevents'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    No. I think it should be 'the works the devil'. Is this phrase natural?

    Thanks again.
    Isn't there an "of" missing now? Besides, 'the work of the devil' or 'the devil's work' - singular - is more common. The only context in which I've met this plural is in the renewal of baptismal vows (which catholics do once a year [or did when I was one of The Faithful ]):

    Priest: Do you renounce Satan?
    People: We do renounce him.
    Priest: And all his works?
    etc

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 10-Jul-2009 at 10:24. Reason: Add re. singular

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