'music + has or have?

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riceball72

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Hi

The sentence in question is:
Modern pop and rock music has been greatly infuluenced by jazz.

For me - using 'has been' is very natural but a question has come from one of my co-workers overseas.....

They want to know why we don't use 'have been' since we are talking about two different types of music.

I know that 'music' is considered a uncountable noun and we could not write 'pop and rock musics'..... I have also searched the internet and found 5,090 examples using 'has been' but also 2,380 examples using 'have been'.

My thought is that some people read the sentence and think in their mind 'pop music and rock music' and therefore think of them as two separate entities... so want to use 'have been'.

I automatically want to put 'has been' though.

Can anyone give me some ideas about this and an easy way of explaining this to a non-native speaker?

I appreciate any help.

smiles
riceball
 

David L.

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"Modern pop and rock music has been greatly influenced by jazz."

The sentence actually omits elements (for brevity) which we take for granted.
The full sentence would be:

Both modern pop music and modern rock music have been greatly influenced by jazz.

Strip it down a bit:
Both pop and rock music have been greatly influenced...


...so that the verb corresponds with the plural "both". Then take away the "both" and leave the plural form of the verb!
 

riverkid

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"Modern pop and rock music has been greatly influenced by jazz."

The sentence actually omits elements (for brevity) which we take for granted.
The full sentence would be:

Both modern pop music and modern rock music have been greatly influenced by jazz.

Strip it down a bit:
Both pop and rock music have been greatly influenced...


...so that the verb corresponds with the plural "both". Then take away the "both" and leave the plural form of the verb!

David,

Why could we also not take for granted,

This collection of [M]odern pop and rock music has been greatly influenced by jazz"?

Riceball, there are a number of examples in language as you've described. It does depend al lot on what we "envision" The concept of notional plurality is one that is the subject of much study. Have a read here:

++++++++++++

Language Log

Syntactic and notional number

Language Log: Syntactic and notional number

++++++++

You might find some other stuff if you google this.
 

David L.

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Because you have shifted the Subject of the sentence to "collection", which is singular, away from the poster's original Subject, which is two types of music connected by 'and', and so taking a plural verb.
 

riverkid

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English Teacher
Because you have shifted the Subject of the sentence to "collection", which is singular, away from the poster's original Subject, which is two types of music connected by 'and', and so taking a plural verb.

Perhaps I could have been clearer. I merely pointed out that it's possible for a speaker to have that notion in their mind.

Why could we also not take for granted,

[This collection of] Modern pop and rock music has been greatly influenced by jazz"?
 

ScotsMaggie

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Has been is correct because the words 'pop and rock' are adjectives describing the word music. Music is a singular noun and takes a singular verb, in this case 'has been.
 

David L.

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Yes SccotsMaggie, as in the sentence, "Modern pop music and rock music have been..."
As Riceball said, they are considered two different entities in many people's eyes: rock music may be 'popular', but all Pop Music is not Rock.
 

riceball72

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Jan 18, 2006
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Student or Learner
Thank you very much for your replies. It has helped alot.

Smiles
riceball
 
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