Student or Learner
While there are many spots still up for grabs in the Lions' starting line-up, Harris is one of those who is/are certain to be in the soccer coach first XI, barring injury or a drastic loss of form.
1. Should I use 'is' or 'are'?
2. Are there any errors in the sentence?
"Harris is one of those who are certain to be in the soccer coach first XI".
The prepositional phrase is "of those". And the relative clause, "who are certain to be in the soccer coach first XI" refers to the plural determiner, "those", not to the subject, "one" or "Harris".
There are those who are certain to be in the soccer coach first XI, and Harris is on of them.
Of those who are certain to be in the soccer coach first XI, Harris is one.
What is he one of? Certainly not "those who is certain ..."
The number of the subject is irrelevant.
"Harris is one of those who are .."
"Harris and Smith are two of those who are ..."
There is a context in which "is" is correct. And that is where not all of "those" are "certain to be in it."
A: "See those 100 people over there? Harry is one of those who is certain to be in the coaching."
B: "How many do you think are certain to be in it?
A: About 10. Harry is one of those  who are certain to be in it. Only about one in 10 of those people is certain to be in it. Harry is one of those who are.
I find that I disagree with Swan on a number of issues, and I find this disturbing, because it seems that one of us must be wrong.
Last edited by Raymott; 02-Jun-2011 at 15:52.
397 one of ...
A following verb is normally singular.
[...] One of our cats has disappeared. (NOT
One of our cats have disappeared.)
This is correct. He also writes, later (529.1):
She's one of the few women who have/has climbed Everest.
Strictly speaking, a plural verb is correct (to agree with the few women who [...]). However, singular verbs are also very common in these structures.
So, he corrected his slip between 1984 and 2005. When he notes that singular verbs are common, he is right; this does not mean that they are correct.
Last edited by 5jj; 02-Jun-2011 at 19:16. Reason: white space removed