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    #1

    Singular or plural verb

    "He's one of those guys who play/plays in every situation."

    Since "guys" is the antecedent of "who," that pronoun should take a plural verb. Right? But if you google "he's one of those guys who," you'll see that the pronoun "who" is often followed by a singular verb, which is why I'm not sure whether "play" or "plays" is correct in my example.

    Thanks!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    The plural form of the verb is correct, but so many people use the the singular that not many people would think it incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    How about:

    1/ It is I who am to blame.
    2/ It is me who is to blame.
    3/ It is you who is to blame.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    It is I who is to blame. - very formal
    It is me who is to blame - very informal.
    It is I who am to blame.- generally considered incorrect, but you'll hear it.
    It is me who am to blame. NO!

    Avoid the problem with: I am the one to blame, I am the one who is to blame.

  4. nyota's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    I'm confused about --> It is I who am to blame. I was taught it's just very formal?

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    #6

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    I'm confused about --> It is I who am to blame. I was taught it's just very formal?
    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    Who is to blame?
    It is I who is to blame.

    Cheers!

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    I'm confused about --> It is I who am to blame. I was taught it's just very formal?
    People have different opinions on this. The safest thing is not to use it.

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    #8

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    I've just been reading on it a bit, and yes, it seems opinions differ, e.g. a passage from Quirk (1985):

    In relative clauses and cleft sentences, a relative pronoun subject is usually followed by a verb in agreement with its antecedent: It is I who am to blame, It is Kay who is in command, It is they who are complaining. But 3rd person concord prevails in informal English where the objective case pronoun me is used: It's me who's to blame. Similarly, 3rd person singular may be used in informal English in these constructions when the pronoun you has singular reference: It's you who's to blame.

    You're right, it's better to avoid it altogether and when tested, supply the answer according to what one was taught (isn't it sad?).

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    #9

    Re: Singular or plural verb

    Because it is an area of dispute, most exams will avoid it as a testing item.

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