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A) neither himself nor the President would be
I have no doubt that the use of the reflexive pronoun 'himself' here is wrong.
B) neither he or the President was
neither goes with nor
C) neither he nor the President would be
But I am not convinced with this one, as the third person plural pronoun 'they' now refers to a singular noun he/president.
I have some doubts about my justification though. If you think I am wrong, please clarify.
D) he and the President will not be
As much as I don't like this one. They clearly refers to the plural noun he and the president. This is at least grammatically right.
E) he not the President would be
the use of 'he not the president is ackward'
I think I got it wrong in my earlier posting because I was confused about the use of 'they'
Here is the explanation:
The pronoun does not act like a verb, in that it does not need "and" to COMBINE two singular nouns/pronouns to form a plural verb.
If I simply say, "Jane went to the store. Susan went
also. They met at the store" you can see that the pronoun "they" refers
to both girls although they are in entirely separate sentences. This
cannot happen with 2 subjects and a verb.
So saying 'neither he nor the President would be available for questions until they had had more time to examine the report '
is entirely accurate.
So C it is
This question is from Barrons and key says C too. I see no explanation for the answer though.
Hope my answer is convincing enough.