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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    Nothing but

    Nothing but two beds are in the room
    or
    Nothing but two beds is in the room ?

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Nothing but

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    Nothing but two beds are in the room
    or
    Nothing but two beds is in the room ?

    There is nothing but two beds in the room. Consequently "Nothing but two beds is in the room.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Nothing but

    Re:
    Nothing but two beds is/are in the room.
    The rule is that subject and verb must agree in number and person.
    Example sentences:
    Nothing is in the room but two beds.
    There is nothing in the room but two beds.

    Nothing is in the room except for two beds.

    Two beds are in the room and nothing else.
    But:
    Nothing but two beds are in the room.

    “Nothing but two beds is in the room” follows the rule but doesn’t seem natural. That is because of “beds” followed by “is”. Most NES would choose are. If you want to avoid saying “two beds is” (and I do) then choose one of the first four sentences. You can also use sentence five, but you would be breaking the rule.

    ~R


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    #4

    Re: Nothing but

    well, actually my reference book points out that "are" is a problem, we should use "is", but since it is not written by a native, I doubt,let's try another sentence:
    Mr Brown with his son is waiting for the bus to come

    or

    Mr Brown with his son are waiting for the bus to come

    ?

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    #5

    Re: Nothing but

    'Nothing but two beds is.....' does sound a bit odd, but if you focus on 'nothing' as the subject as you say it, it sounds more natural.

    "Mr. Brown" is the subject, so 'is' is correct. Mr. Brown, (along) with his son, is waiting for the bus (to come).

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Nothing but

    2006 is right. Now, if you had said "Mr. Brown and his son" then you would have a plural subject. Then you would have to use are. Then you would say:
    Mr Brown and his son are waiting for the bus to come.
    ~R

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