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    #1

    Harris is one of those who is/are...

    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?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    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'?
    'Are'.

    ...one of those (people) who are certain...

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    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'? You should use is.

    2. Are there any errors in the sentence? Perhaps. What does in the soccer coach first XI mean?
    Thanks.
    Swan says that the verb is singular because the subject is one. ( Practical English Usage, 1984 edition, entry 442, one of...)

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Swan says that the verb is singular because the subject is one. ( Practical English Usage, 1984 edition, entry 442, one of...)
    If he's talking about a sentence with the same structure as the the one in the OP, he's wrong.
    "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 [10] 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.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Swan says that the verb is singular because the subject is one. ( Practical English Usage, 1984 edition, entry 442, one of...)
    In the 2005 edition he writes:

    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

  5. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If he's talking about a sentence with the same structure as the the one in the OP, he's wrong.


    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.
    Why must either of you be wrong? Can this not be a case where we could have some flexibility? It seems to me that there are some cases where one or the other (i.e. singular or plural) verb form is more pleasing to the ear.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Harris is one of those who is/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Why must either of you be wrong? Can this not be a case where we could have some flexibility? It seems to me that there are some cases where one or the other (i.e. singular or plural) verb form is more pleasing to the ear.
    Yes, I thought about changing that last throw away line, but I couldn't be bothered. You are correct in saying that there could be flexibility, but I disagree that "pleasure to the ear" is a legitimate determinant of correct grammar. It's quite true that in some cases either could be used. In others, only one form is grammatical, no matter how nice the other form sounds.

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