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    #1

    Unhappy Can WHO take a plural verb?

    Hello, teachers
    I have been told that WHO as subject of a clause takes a singular verb but, what happens if the answer is plural? I mean, would the following be correct?

    Who are travelling by train? Peter and Jill.
    or should I say:

    Who is travelling by train? Peter and Jill.

    Thanks a lot
    Last edited by ana2005; 30-Oct-2006 at 21:39.


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    #2

    Re: Can WHO take a plural verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by ana2005 View Post
    Hello, teachers
    I have been told that WHO as subject of a clause takes a singular verb but, what happens if the answer is plural? I mean, would the following be correct?

    Who are travelling by train? Peter and Jill.
    or should I say:

    Who is travelling by train? Peter and Jill.

    Thanks a lot

    We always [almost always ??] use a singular verb in cases like this, Ana. What the answer is has no bearing on how to pose the question for in real life the answer is unknown before a question is asked.

    When the question includes a reference to a plural, then we use a plural verb.

    Who are the people going to ... ?

    Check this Google exact search page for some more exmples.

    "who are" - Google Search

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can WHO take a plural verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by ana2005 View Post
    Hello, teachers
    I have been told that WHO as subject of a clause takes a singular verb but, what happens if the answer is plural? I mean, would the following be correct?

    Who are travelling by train? Peter and Jill.
    or should I say:

    Who is travelling by train? Peter and Jill.

    Thanks a lot
    The answer to your question depends on what the speker knows or believes. If the speaker is just asking a general question with no knowledge, the singular use of "who" and a singular verb would be correct and common.

    If however, your sentence followed this statement:

    "Twenty people are coming, some by car and some by train",

    it would be quite natural to use the plural "who" followed by a plural verb. Some would still use the singular, however.

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    #4

    Talking Re: Can WHO take a plural verb?

    Thank you very much, MikeNewYork and Riverkid. You have been most helpful

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can WHO take a plural verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by ana2005 View Post
    Thank you very much, MikeNewYork and Riverkid. You have been most helpful
    You're welcome.

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