Verb agreement

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bmo

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From today's Dear Abby column:

"Abby, if Edgar dropped dead tomorrow, Sherene would be recognized as his wife - not I. She will be able to draw his Social Security and take anything and everything - our car, house, etc."

Question: (Should this be singular or plural?)

1. "Not I" instead of "not me," is it because it is "not I who would be recognized as his wife?"

2. She will be able to draw... Should it be "She would be able" to match "She would be recognized?"

Thanks.

BMO
 

RonBee

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bmo said:
From today's Dear Abby column:

"Abby, if Edgar dropped dead tomorrow, Sherene would be recognized as his wife - not I. She will be able to draw his Social Security and take anything and everything - our car, house, etc."

Question: (Should this be singular or plural?)

1. "Not I" instead of "not me," is it because it is "not I who would be recognized as his wife?"

Yes. :)

bmo said:
2. She will be able to draw... Should it be "She would be able" to match "She would be recognized?"

Yes, it would be good to do it that way. However, the way it is written is not incorrect. The second one is a sort of elliptical sentence. (It could be seen that way, anyhow.) The "entire" sentence could be written: "If Edgar drops dead tomorrow, she will be able to draw his Social Security and take anything and everything - our car, house, etc."

What do you think?

:)
 

bmo

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RonBee said:
Yes, it would be good to do it that way. However, the way it is written is not incorrect. The second one is a sort of elliptical sentence. (It could be seen that way, anyhow.) The "entire" sentence could be written: "If Edgar drops dead tomorrow, she will be able to draw his Social Security and take anything and everything - our car, house, etc."

What do you think?

:)

But I thought it was supposed to be a subjunctive mood, how come you write in present tense?


BMO
 

MikeNewYork

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bmo said:
RonBee said:
Yes, it would be good to do it that way. However, the way it is written is not incorrect. The second one is a sort of elliptical sentence. (It could be seen that way, anyhow.) The "entire" sentence could be written: "If Edgar drops dead tomorrow, she will be able to draw his Social Security and take anything and everything - our car, house, etc."

What do you think?

:)

But I thought it was supposed to be a subjunctive mood, how come you write in present tense?


BMO

It should be subjunctive and "would" be a better choice. The writer switched moods in the second sentence. This makes that sentence more real, but it is not completely correct.
 

RonBee

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Thanks, Mike! :D

Note:
  • Native speakers will occasionally change "mood" from one sentence to the next. (Perhaps in line with the thinking process.) This can, I suppose, make things difficult for ESL learners, but if you focus on the intended meaning perhaps it will not "throw" you.
(Note: I was absent the day they taught subjunctive mode. ;-) )

:)
 

bmo

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RonBee said:
Thanks, Mike! :D

Note:
  • Native speakers will occasionally change "mood" from one sentence to the next. (Perhaps in line with the thinking process.) This can, I suppose, make things difficult for ESL learners, but if you focus on the intended meaning perhaps it will not "throw" you.
(Note: I was absent the day they taught subjunctive mode. ;-) )

:)

Thanks, Mike and RonBee, it is great to learn. Have a great day. BMO
 

RonBee

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Did you notice that Ron used "mode" for "mood"?
Don't you think he's kind of a weird dude?

;-)
 

bmo

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I thought it was subjunctive mode myself until I checked the dictionary and saw it should be subjunctive mood. You threw me off again when I saw your subjunctive mode.

Thanks RonBee.

BMO
 

RonBee

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Sorry.

:(

:wink:
 
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