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# Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight

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Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2017, 21:29
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Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow.

C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow.

D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.

E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2017, 21:50
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Well! There is a basic rule about subject - verb agreement in the cases of either/or and neither/nor correlatives that the verb form in such cases is decided by the number of the nearest noun. Per that tenet,

Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow. ---- his friends is going is wrong
B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow. ---- two of them plans is wrong
C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow. -- correct in both arms.
D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.--- two of them is wrong
E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow. --- change of meaning and the contrast is missing.

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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2017, 22:58
Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.
A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.
Plural verb ARE should be used for plural noun "His Friends". Hence Incorrect.
B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow.
Use of Simple present for a future action is incorrect. Hence Incorrect.
C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow.
CORRECT
D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.
Singular verb IS should be used. Hence Incorrect.
E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow.
Use of AND changes the original intent
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Last edited by elegantm on 15 Jul 2017, 06:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2017, 00:09
This is a classic example of two part construction. The frame used here is Neither A nor B and Either X or Y.
Thing to remember in such construction, number of B and Y are to be used for SV agreement.
For example - Neither the boys nor the girl is here. Because the subject is girl and not 'boys and girl'.
Hence usage of "is" and "are" is totally governed by the subject after or/nor.

Correct answer IMO would be C.

Similar examples of two part constructions -

From...to...
Not...but...
Not only...but also...
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2017, 02:27
daagh wrote:
Well! There is a basic rule about subject - verb agreement in the cases of either/or and neither/nor correlatives that the verb form in such cases is decided by the number of the nearest noun. Per that tenet,

Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow. ---- his friends is going is wrong
B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow. ---- two of them plans is wrong
C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow. -- correct in both arms.
D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.--- two of them is wrong
E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow. --- change of meaning and the contrast is missing.

Hi Daagh,

can you explain why the usage of "two of them is" is wrong in option D ?
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2017, 03:27
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Sorry for the confusion; I meant 'two of them with the verb is" is wrong.
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2017, 03:29
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kunalsingh1991 wrote:
Hi Daagh,

can you explain why the usage of "two of them is" is wrong in option D ?

Hi kunalsingh1991 ,

The phrase "One or two " makes the verb plural.

So, it should be one or two are. Hence, option D is wrong.
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 14:50
broall wrote:
Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.
B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow.
C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow.
D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.
E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow.

"Neither X nor Y" is the basic idiom - whether a plural or singular verb is used after nor depends entirely and only on the person of the Y - so if Y is singular then use singular verb vice versa

C

Neither the boys nor Sally is
Neither Sally nor the boys are
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 00:00
broall wrote:
Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.
B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow.
C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow.
D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.
E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow.

Neither X nor Y
X or Y
In these constructions the subject of the sentence is Noun after second element

For example Neither Ramesh nor his friends
In the above example "his friends " is the subject of the sentence , so the verb should be plural
Lets take one more example
Neither the nights watch nor Jon Snow was able to defend the wall.
Here subject is Jon Snow
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2017, 04:15
broall wrote:
Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

A. Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning on going tomorrow.

B. Neither his friends nor Ramesh is going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them plans to go tomorrow.

C. Neither Ramesh nor his friends are going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them are planning on going tomorrow.

D. Ramesh and his friends are not going to the ballet tonight, but one or two of them is planning to go tomorrow.

E. Ramesh, with several of his friends, is not going to the ballet tonight, and one or two them are planning on going tomorrow.

Solution

With so much underlined, it is essential that you locate several decision points that allow you to quickly eliminate clearly incorrect answer choices. In this problem, you should notice the difference between “are” and “is” in the first clause of the answer choices, and the difference between “is planning”, “are planning”, and “plans” in the second clause. Subject-verb agreement is almost always an easy error type to assess so that is a good place to start. However, here the rule is fairly tricky (but something you must have as a core competency for the exam)!

When using “or”, “either/or”, or “neither/nor,” the rule is to agree with whichever noun is closest to the noun; this is commonly called agreement by location. Starting with the first portion of each answer choice, that part is correct in 4 of the 5 choices so it doesn’t help that much. In (A), (B), and (C) you have the “neither/nor” construction and in (C) the plural noun “friends” is paired correctly with the plural verb “are”. In (B) the singular noun “Ramesh” is correctly paired with the singular verb “is”. However, in (A) the plural “his friends” is paired incorrectly with the singular “is” so you can eliminate (A) definitively. In (D) you have the plural compound subject “Ramesh and his friends” correctly paired with the plural verb “are” and in (E) the singular “Ramesh” is correctly paired with the singular verb “is”. Since all but (A) are correct, you must move on to the other subject-verb agreement decision point referenced above.

For this difference, all of them are incorrect but (C) and (E). In (A), (B) and (D), you have “one or two of them” before the verb, so you must agree with “two of them” as it is after “or” and closest to the verb. “Two” is plural so you cannot use the singular verbs “is planning” or “plans” with that subject. In (C) and (E) you have proper subject-verb agreement, so you must look for other differences to leverage. For (E) the change in the beginning of the sentence is nonsensical: you can’t “with several people” “not go to the ballet”! Furthermore, the conjunction “and” is strange as you are juxtaposing that some are not going tonight BUT some are tomorrow. The correct answer is (C).
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Re: Neither Ramesh nor his friends is going to the ballet tonight   [#permalink] 11 Nov 2017, 04:15
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