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    #1

    was/were

    Hallo!

    Is this sentence correct?

    He was also one of the few actors I thought were crazy.

    Thanks for the great service!

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: was/were

    Was he one of [the group of actors I thought were all crazy]
    or
    Was he an actor [of the group of actors] and I thought he was crazy?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. IHIVG's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: was/were

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Was he one of [the group of actors I thought were all crazy]
    or
    Was he an actor [of the group of actors] and I thought he was crazy?
    Is it possible to interpret this sentence as in your 2nd example?
    I thought the 'were' is a clear reference to the group of actors

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: was/were

    Probably not. My first thought was definitely the first version.

    But I wanted to head off the "No no! When you have an 'X of the Y' construction, the verb always agrees with X" counter-argument.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: was/were

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan View Post
    Hallo!

    Is this sentence correct?

    He was also one of the few actors I thought were crazy.

    Thanks for the great service!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    (1) May I suggest that your sentence is: He was also one of the few actors WHO I thought were crazy.

    (a) In this case, "I thought" is strictly parenthetical. Erase it from your mind when you are analyzing the sentence.

    (b) Thus we have: He was one of the few actors who were crazy.

    (i) My books tell me that the verb is "were" because it matches "who" which refers to actorS, not to "one."

    (c) In other words: He was one. One of what? Of the few actors who were crazy.

    (2) Don't be surprised, however, if you hear native speakers use "was."

    (3) "Was" WOULD be correct if the sentence read: He was the ONLY one of the actors who was crazy. Just erase the words "of the actors" in your mind, and you can see that the sentence reads: He was the only one who WAS crazy. (The other actors were not crazy.)

    Have a nice day.

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