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  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    what/who/

    are the following sentences correct?

    what are the things that were damaged


    is what the subject of the sentenece? if so, should i say

    what is the things that were damaged, instead?

    how about this:

    what things are damaged

    who are those two people
    or
    who is those two people

    should the verb that come after the who/what/where be singluar or plural(agreement)?

    and what do we call this category of words

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: what/who/

    What are the things that were damaged?

    1. What things were damaged?
    • What things is the subject of the verb were
    2. What are the things that were damaged?
    • What is the subject of the verb are
    3. What is the things that were damaged?
    • What must agree in number with its complement the things. The verb must be plural are, not singular is.
    4. What things are damaged?
    5. Who are those two people?
    6. Who is those two people?
    • Who must agree in number with its complement two people. The verb must be plural are, not singular is.
    Who and What are pronouns in form, that's what they look like, and in the example sentences you provided, they function as subjects (2., 3., 5., and 6.) and as adjectives( 1. and 4.), that's what they do. They are unmarked for number, which means they are neither singular nor plural. When they function as subjects, they get their number from the word or phrase they modify, from their complements, which is why 3. and 6. are ungrammatical. The complements are plural. When they function as adjectives, they don't need number. The word or phrase they modify agrees in number with the verb.

    Hope that helps.

    All the best.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 15-Apr-2007 at 16:01.

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