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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 51

    Sub-verb agreement- the waters of the River is or are?


    Can someone clarify the following please.

    Sentence: Three miles outside the city is kankal Ghat . The waters of the Ganges at this place are very shallow.

    Context: The writer is talking about a visit to Haridwar and how he stood in one of the Ghats ( landing places )on the River Ganges for a while .

    My question is- should it be " The waters -------- are or is very shallow?"

    Isn't the writer thinking of the waters of the Ganges as one unit?


  2. #2

    Re: Sub-verb agreement- the waters of the River is or are?

    The writer has used a plural form of 'water' with an 's'', so you need to use the plural verb form:

    'The waters are very shallow.'

    or 'The water is very shallow.'

    Although, in general, 'water' is considered to be uncountable, in a few phrases, such as 'the waters of the Nile', 'the waters of the Ganges', it can be treated as a countable noun.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,403

    Re: Sub-verb agreement- the waters of the River is or are?

    Water: a stretch or area of water, such as a river, sea, or lake : the lawns ran down to the water's edge.
    • the surface of such an area of water : she ducked under the water.
    • [as adj. ] found in, on, or near such areas of water : a water plant.
    the water of a particular sea, river, or lake : the waters of Hudson Bay | and figuratively, the government is taking us into unknown waters with these changes in the legislation.
    • an area of sea regarded as under the jurisdiction/legal control of a particular country : Japanese coastal waters.

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