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    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #1

    Contain or contains?

    In the below paragraph, I just wondered why they didn't use 'contains' but use contain. Could you explain this, please?

    "For non-native speakers of English, it is possible that a given sentence contain multiple errors and grammar checkers may not adequately explain these mistakes."

    I just found that on the internet and I brought it here as it is.

  1. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #2

    Re: Contain or contains?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marybeth View Post
    In the below paragraph, I just wondered why they didn't use 'contains' but use contain. Could you explain this, please?

    "For non-native speakers of English, it is possible that a given sentence contain multiple errors and grammar checkers may not adequately explain these mistakes."

    I just found that on the internet and I brought it here as it is.
    Wow, this is a very advanced use of what I believe is referred to as the subjunctive.

    Let's put the word "may" into this. That may make help clarify what is being said here.

    "For non-native speakers of English, it is possible that a given sentence may contain multiple errors and grammar checkers may not adequately explain these mistakes."

    It is possible to leave out "may" here.

    But this is New Year's Eve. Perhaps others out there can celebrate by coming up with a better explanation...

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,596
    #3

    Re: Contain or contains?

    Quote Originally Posted by kfredson View Post
    Wow, this is a very advanced use of what I believe is referred to as the subjunctive.

    Let's put the word "may" into this. That may make help clarify what is being said here.

    "For non-native speakers of English, it is possible that a given sentence may contain multiple errors and grammar checkers may not adequately explain these mistakes."

    It is possible to leave out "may" here.
    I agree.

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