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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Singapore
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      • Singapore

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Plural vs Singular verbs

    Help !! My friends and I cannot agree - please clarify - should it be :

    1)A group of friends are coming to my house

    or

    2)A group of friends is coming to my house

    And should it be :

    3)A host of our friends, including Tom and Jerry, want to meet you

    or

    4)A host of our friends, including Tom and Jerry, wants to meet you

    Thank-you very much!

    Regards,

    Samantha Pang

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: Plural vs Singular verbs

    The phrase "of friends" modifies the phrase "A group". It functions as modification. We can delete it without changing the core meaning of the sentence. So, let's do that and see what the grammatical subject is:

    [1] A group of friends => A group is coming to my house.

    "A group", a singular noun phrase, agrees in number with the singular verb "is".

    Note, with phrases like, a group of, a host of, a bunch of, and so on, it's becoming more common these days for speakers to parse the phrases according to proximity: the closest noun agrees in number with the verb, giving:

    [2] A group of friends are coming to my house.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Newbie
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      • English
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    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Talking Re: Plural vs Singular verbs

    Thank-you so much! We were having so many disagreements between ourselves as to which is the correct rule.

    God Bless! I could sleep better now....n I won a dinner bet too....

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