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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #1

    Singular or Plural Usage?

    A complex of industries and businesses assemble the food and fiber commodities and transforms them into final food and fiber products for the final consumers.

    Plural subject - industries and businesses
    Plural verb - transforms

    Right?

    Thanks, Cindy

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    #2

    Re: Singular or Plural Usage?

    There are two verbs there- assemble (plural) and transforms (singular). They should either both be singular or both plural. The sentence doesn't read well to me- what is meant by 'a complex'?


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 81
    #3

    Re: Singular or Plural Usage?

    Thank you for your response. I need to acquire a better understanding of singular and plural usage. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Again, thanks.

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #4

    Re: Singular or Plural Usage?

    It's a very tricky area, and one where there are differences of opinion. Take this case:
    There ____ a man and a woman outside.
    Some argue that there are two people so 'are' is correct. Others use the proximity principle and say that 'is' sounds more natural before a singular noun. Also, when the subject is complex and features both singular and plural nouns, it can be difficult to identify what is the true subject.

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