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    #1

    Subject Verb Agreement

    Please comment on the following sentence:
    The fisherman and the father of three sons, Mr James, (has/have) received the award.

    Is "has" or "have" used in the above sentence?
    There is nothing to talk if we just put it in this way:
    Mr James, the fisherman and the father of three sons, has received the award.

    Thanks for your comment.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Assuming that it's the same person, who is both a fisherman and a father, use the singular form of the verb.

    If there were two people, a fisherman and a father, then use "have."

    Unless you have already told people that a fisherman was among the possible winners, use "a" fisherman instead of "the" fisherman.

    PS - And welcome to Using English!
    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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    #3

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Thank you very much Mr Bard_D for your comment.

    I also need your assistant on another sentence.

    The soldier and the gunman (is/are) Mr James.

    Which form of verb should be used? It is the same case as the previous sentence that needs a singular verb?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by nagara View Post
    Thank you very much Mr Bard_D for your comment.

    I also need your assistant on another sentence.

    The soldier and the gunman (is/are) Mr James.

    Which form of verb should be used? It is the same case as the previous sentence that needs a singular verb?

    Thanks in advance.
    If, as before, there is one person, use the singular "is". It would be more natural, however, to write "Mr James is the soldier and the gunman".

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    #5

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Thank you for your suggestion, Mr bhaisahab.
    I have just realized that even if the rules state that plural verb is used for the subjects compounded by "and", there are some special cases in the afore-mentioned sentences.
    Thank you very much for your time spent writing the comments.
    Last edited by nagara; 09-Sep-2010 at 10:40.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Hi again nagara,
    Please note that a singular subject takes the singular verb; in your examples, it was still ONE person being described too different ways.

    A person can be:
    - a mother
    - a writer
    - a great amateur golfer
    - a soloist in her church choir

    Susan IS a mother, a writer, a great amateur golfer, and a soloist in her church choir.

    That mother, writer, golfer, and singer IS Susan.

    Still one person, still taking the singular verb.

    When the compound subject refers to two different people (or things), THEN you use the plural verb.

    His mother AND his father are [both] coming.
    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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    #7

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by nagara View Post

    Thank you very much Mr Bard_D for your comment.

    It's a mistake to assume that all teachers on this board are male.

    I'm guessing that Barb is short for Barbara (a girl's name).

    Rover

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    #8

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Hello Rover_Ke and Barb_D,

    Thanks for your comment, Mr Rover_Ke. I hope you get the right guess.

    And I would like to apologize for my mistake in addressing the title of your name, Teacher Barb_D.

    I would call you Ms Barb_D, and thank you indeed for the further comment. Right now, I am clear about that point. :)

    Good luck Ms Barb_D

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Subject Verb Agreement

    Don't worry about things like that, nagara. You can just call me "Barb" and that's fine with me!

    (I'm not a teacher, by the way.)
    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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