Interested in Language
i have a minor question about the agreement. look at the sentence "On New Year's Eve, every door in the house, and even windows, have to be open to allow the old year out"
i think the subject here is every door, not windows, so the verb should be "has" instead of "have". but i'm not sure of it. anybody tell me?
- On New Year's Eve, every door in the house and even windows have to be open to allow the old year out.
- They (both doors and windows) have to be open to allow the old year out.
Sorry, hooootdog. Ignore my posts. For some reason I read your 'and even windows' as 'and every windows'. It's time I had my eyes tested.
***** A NON-TEACHER's OPINION *****
(1) I may have found a "rule" that explains why "has" is the
(2) It comes from my 1985 edition of Professor Quirk's A Grammar of
the English Language (page 762):
If an adverbial [such as "even"?] is attached to a second noun
phrase linked to the [first] noun phrase by and, the construction is considered parenthetic [extra], and grammatical concord ... requires the verb to agree in number with the first noun phrase.
Dr. Quirk's example:
The ambassador -- and perhaps his wife too [adverbial?] -- is likely to be present.
(3) Your humble servant is wondering if your sentence could thus
be analyzed something like:
Every door -- and even [all the] windows -- has to be open.
Every door (and even all the windows) has to be open.
Every door, and even all the windows, has to be open.