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    #1

    When and where has/are...

    Professor James will give us a lecture on the Western culture, but when and where ____ yet.
    A. hasn't been decided B. haven't decided
    C. isn't being decided D. aren't decided

    This was a test item from China's Zhejiang Province 2007 college entrance examination paper. The given answer is A.

    I thought 'the' was unnecessary and D was also fine for the sentence. Am I right? Could I ask native speakers to help me please?
    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Talking Re: When and where has/are...

    In this sentence, when and where are treated as a single -not a plural- noun because the "and" joins the two words as one.

    I hope this helps!

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    #3

    Re: When and where has/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by nlgarcia View Post
    In this sentence, when and where are treated as a single -not a plural- noun because the "and" joins the two words as one.

    I hope this helps!
    Thank you very much, nlgarcia.

    The county plans to expand it, but when and where are n't clear.
    This sentence comes from the news of Atlanta,
    Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

    Thus comes my question of whether 'when and where' should be treated as single or plural.
    Thank you again.

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    #4

    Re: When and where has/are...

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Professor James will give us a lecture on the Western culture, but when and where ____ yet.
    A. hasn't been decided B. haven't decided
    C. isn't being decided D. aren't decided

    This was a test item from China's Zhejiang Province 2007 college entrance examination paper. The given answer is A.

    I thought 'the' was unnecessary and D was also fine for the sentence. Am I right? Could I ask native speakers to help me please?
    Thank you in advance.
    1..."the" is wrong there.
    2...I consider "when and where" to be plural. (But you can make it singular by saying something like 'the issue of when and where'.)

    So I would choose D, but the most natural answer would be 'haven't been decided'.
    Last edited by 2006; 28-Feb-2009 at 06:25.


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    #5

    Re: When and where has/are...

    Joham:Thus comes my question of whether 'when and where' should be treated as single or plural.


    Nigarcia posts:
    In this sentence, when and where are treated as a single -not a plural- noun because the "and" joins the two words as one.

    2006 posts:
    2...I consider "when and where" to be plural.

    As with the choice of tense at times, whether the verb is singular or plural is determined by the speaker's perspective.
    There is a world of difference between 'Professor James will give us a lecture' and deciding on which room in the University where he works and the time - that is, 'when and where'
    and
    holding a G7/G8 conference and deciding when they are all available, and then, where is a mutually acceptable city in the world to meet.

    With Prof. James, 'when and where' are easily regarded as a single unit; whereas with the G7 conference, both 'when' and 'where' would need to be thrashed out - thus, two issues, plural verb.


    Note:
    (As you can see from the responses to your thread, some people might always use singular, some plural. Hence, the Atlanta newspaper report suggests that 'when and where' are a single unit to me, hence singular verb; whereas the reporter may always use a plural verb with 'when and where'. AT THE SAME TIME, where this 'expanding' is to occur may be easily decided, but exactly when they have the money to do it may be another issue, hence, I would be wrong and the reporter, from his perspective on this issue, may have very advisedly used a plural verb.
    That makes this whole issue a tough item in an entrance exam!!)
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Feb-2009 at 09:44.

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