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    #1

    plural or sigular verb?

    I sometimes have problem using singular or plural verbs when the subject is plural!
    for example: Higher amounts of soluble carbohydrates was (or were?) seen in plants during summer.
    Another example, There is (or are?) strong correlations between A and B. What is the rule in this kind of situation? Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    Welcome to the forum, Armin.

    The rule is simple: a plural subject takes a plural verb.

    'Higher amounts ... were seen ...'
    'There are strong correlations ...'

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    #3

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    Thank you for very fast reply. Believe me I have seen sentences like this many times in scientific texts written by English native people: Higher amounts of carbohydrates was seen in grapevines when exposed to lower temperature! Is the rule you mentioned flexible?

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    #4

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    NO! The example you quote is an unforgivable grammatical mistake on the part of the writer.

    He/she should also have written 'exposed to a lower temperature' or exposed to lower temperatures'.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 19-Dec-2014 at 09:26.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    No, the rule is not flexible. Please provide a link to an example text.

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    #6

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armin82 View Post
    I have seen sentences like this many times in scientific texts written by English native people
    Some scientists may know more about the rules of science than they do about the rules of language. There are cases where the differences between singular and plural can be blurred, but this is not one of them.

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    #7

    Re: plural or sigular verb?

    Having edited hundreds of scientific papers, I can attest to that. The most talented scientists can be the worst writers.

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