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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Karen

    Hi!

    Simple question - what is correct:

    If one or the other is responsible for...
    If one or the other are responsible for

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    BR, Karen

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    #2

    Re: Karen

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hi!

    Simple question - what is correct:

    If one or the other is responsible for...
    If one or the other are responsible for

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    BR, Karen
    Hello,

    I chose the first one. With the preposition 'or' I believe it can be one of them but not the both subjects.

    Cordially,

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Karen

    Yes, it's the first one. With "or" you make the verb agree with the subject that comes closest to the verb.
    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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    #4

    Re: Karen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, it's the first one. With "or" you make the verb agree with the subject that comes closest to the verb.
    Hello Barb_D,

    What do you mean by 'the closest to the verb', I am sure you are not talking about the distance between the verb and the both subjects.

    Make my day to enlighten for me your answer.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Karen

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

    Personally I find a lot more of these silly "or" sentences in ESL forums than in real life but let us say you are helping with a bake sale. You are guessing which will be the first item sold.

    I bet that cake or these cookies are the first to go.
    I bet these cookies or that cake is the first to go.

    The verb agrees with the element in the compound-or subject that it is closer to. Of course in the original sentence both were singular so it didn't matter but that's how it works when they are of different number.
    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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    #6

    Re: Karen

    Hi teacher,

    Now it is very clear for me. Thanks a lot for your explanation.

    I have a break, I am going to take 'sun' (It is sunny today in France).

    Have nice day.

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