Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,676
    #1

    Plural or singular?

    Is it ok to use the plural in the following sentence?

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State, who are not national representatives and must be independent.

    Or should the sentence read:

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State, who is not a national representative and must be independent.

    Thanks.

  1. anupumh's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,110
    #2

    Re: Plural or singular?

    Your query relates to the rules of Subject and Verb Agreement.

    Singular subject carries a Singular verb.

    Thus to decide whether to use singular or plural verb (in this case is or are), one should look at the subject of the sentence .

    I belive the second sentence is more appropriate with the usage of is, as there is no plural subject in this sentence.

    Though I would like the senior members to second my reply..


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #3

    Re: Plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is it ok to use the plural in the following sentence?

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State, who are not national representatives and must be independent.

    Or should the sentence read:

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State, who is not a national representative and must be independent.

    Thanks.
    I would go with the second one, but only if we leave out the comma. I think this is really a restrictive clause as it is writtten.

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State who is not a national representative and must be independent.

    So in this case "who is not a national representative" refers to "one Commisioner", which is why I chose the singular verb - third person s - instead of the unmarked plural verb.

    I can see the confusion here, however, as we understand that there is more than one commissioner.

    There is another way to express this, and in this way, we would use a comma.

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State, each of whom is not a national representative and must be independent.

    Here we find that "each of whom" works well from a grammatical viewpoint and from the viewpoint that this sort of formal language allows for the use of "whom" without it sounding out of place or "old-fashioned", as it often can in sentences like, "with whom were you talking?" or "for whom is this large cheese and mushroom?" (cheese and mushroom pizza, that is)

    each of whom - This means "each of them". Using "each of whom" allows us to join both clauses to form one sentence. Otherwise, we could have this:

    The European Commission comprises one Commissioner from each Member State. Each Commissioner is not a national representative and must be independent.

    Well, this is my take on your question. It's kind of complicated, so maybe another teacher will be able to add soemthing here.




    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #4

    Smile Re: Plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Your query relates to the rules of Subject and Verb Agreement.

    Singular subject carries a Singular verb.

    Thus to decide whether to use singular or plural verb (in this case is or are), one should look at the subject of the sentence .

    I belive the second sentence is more appropriate with the usage of is, as there is no plural subject in this sentence.

    Though I would like the senior members to second my reply..
    Yes, I would use "is" as well, but without the comma, as I stated in my previous post.


  2. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,551
    #5

    Re: Plural or singular?

    No need to add anything to Proesl's remarks except good job!



    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Smile Re: Plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    No need to add anything to Proesl's remarks except good job!

    Thank you.


Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Singular, plural and noun conundrum
    By Joe333 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-Jul-2009, 20:37
  2. [Grammar] Singular or plural
    By Joe333 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Jul-2009, 19:23
  3. Singular and plural and their effects
    By Progress in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Aug-2007, 14:28
  4. verbs
    By eyescold_07 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Aug-2005, 06:32
  5. Is 'manners' plural or singular?
    By peppy_man in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Jun-2005, 23:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •