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    #1

    twelve birthday cards

    Are these sentences correct:

    1) When you say things like that, two good slaps in the face should not surprise you.
    MEANING: ... getting two good slaps in the face should not surprise you.

    2) With the number of friends you have, twelve birthday cards in your mailbox should not surprise you.
    MEANING: .... receiving twelve birthday cards in your mailbox should not surprise you.

    3) With the number of friends I have, twelve birthday cards in my mailbox do not surprise me.
    MEANING: .... receiving twelve birthday cards in my mailbox does not surprise me.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    They all work for me.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    I am not a teacher.

    In 3) I would say, '…twelve birthday cards in my mailbox does not surprise me.' Before anyone points out that the subject is plural I would make the point that the real subject is the fact that there were twelve cards, and it's that that doesn't surprise you.

    To illustrate my point, in 2) you could reply, 'No, it doesn't.' I don't think anyone would say, 'No, they don't.'

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    #4

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    I'd use does too in #3.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    Roman, there is no "the fact that" in that sentence.

  4. Roman55's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    Duh, I can see that.

    So you don't understand my point, or are you just being obtuse?

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    I don't understand your point and you are the one being obtuse. When it comes to analyzing a sentence, we usually deal with the sentence we have, not one we make up for convenience.

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    #8

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    I don't think it's a matter of convenience but how we understand it- I would also clump the twelve cards into a single unit and use a singular verb there- it may be maintaining a BrE tradition of using plural where you would use singular (collective nouns) and vice versa.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: twelve birthday cards

    That is a better answer. It does not require rewording the sentence.

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