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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    you or a program refer? to a disk

    DOS simplifies the process by having what's called a default drive -- a drive that DOS looks to, unless you say otherwaise, DOS keeps track of the current default drive, and any time you or a program refer to a disk without giving a drive specification, DOS assumes you intend to use the default drive.

    I think that refer is a typo. The correct word is refers, isn't it?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    DOS simplifies the process by having what's called a default drive -- a drive that DOS looks to, unless you say otherwaise, DOS keeps track of the current default drive, and any time you or a program refer to a disk without giving a drive specification, DOS assumes you intend to use the default drive.

    I think that refer is a typo. The correct word is refers, isn't it?
    No, in this text, DOS is programmed to refer (or to look for) to the default drive absent other instructions.

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    #3

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    I think "you or a program" is the subject of the verb refer, isn't it?
    Last edited by sitifan; 20-Apr-2014 at 03:31.
    I need native speakers' help.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    I think "your or a program" is the subject of the verb refer, isn't it?
    No, the subject is "you or a program". I don't think it's a typo. I think it's what the author intended.
    But 'refers' would normally be used (on the principle of applying the verb to the closest element of the subject in an A or B subject.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    "You or a program refer" is fine for me.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    I would use "refers" there.

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    #7

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, the subject is "you or a program". I don't think it's a typo. I think it's what the author intended.
    But 'refers' would normally be used (on the principle of applying the verb to the closest element of the subject in an A or B subject.
    Why do you think the author intended to use the plural verb? Is there any difference in meaning between a singular verb and a plural verb?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #8

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Why do you think the author intended to use the plural verb? Is there any difference in meaning between a singular verb and a plural verb?
    There are no singular and plural verbs. I meant that I think the author chose to use the verb that he did ('refer') because he considered the subject (you or a program) plural, and hence he used "a verb consistent with a plural subject".
    There's no way of proving that, of course, unless we can contact the author.

  9. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #9

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    There are two things in the sentence that can refer to a disk, which is why the author used refer, I presume.

  10. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: you or a program refer? to a disk

    But those two things are connected by "or", not "and".

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