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      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000

    agreement between the subject and the predicate

    Dear teachers,

    I know that commonly there is an agreement between the subject and the predicate in the English language.

    The day was hot.
    The days were hot.

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the following irregularities?

    Her family has disgraced itself. (Thackery)
    It was eleven o’clock before the family were all in bed. (Hardy)

    The crowd was cheerful. (Galsworthy)
    The crowd were pushing, quarrelling, joking. (Dickens)

    This company demands that the tenants agree to pay an extra 14 s. a week… (Daily Worker)
    Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominos, three standing by the counter.. (Dickens)

    Parlament always was a talking shop. (Galsworthy)
    Parlament are found to do something about it .. (Galsworthy)

    Thank you for your efforts.



    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 29

    Re: agreement between the subject and the predicate

    Collective nouns can be tricky as they may take verbs both in singular and in plural, an exception is "police" which is always in plural - Police are coming...

    My grammar says the following:

    "we use a singular verb if the focus is on the institution or organisation as a whole unit, and a plural verb if the focus is on a collection of individuals"

    The council has (or have) postponed the decision on the new road.

    The committee usually raise their hands to vote 'Yes'. ( not: raises)


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