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# Subject-Verb Agreement

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VP
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14 Jun 2004, 22:24
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

B. UFOs and they are generally curious about extraterrestrial life which has
c. UFOs, as well as their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
D. UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has
E. UFOs, as well as general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
If you have any questions
New!
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14 Jun 2004, 22:39
UH,

after one week this is my first post.

Quote:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

B. UFOs and they are generally curious about extraterrestrial life which has
c. UFOs, as well as their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
D. UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has
E. UFOs, as well as general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have

ans:

A: wrong: "thier" is having incorrect referrent.
B: pronoun reference "they" not having correct reference. more over "have" is not correct with singular subject "belief"
C: "thier" and "Have" ---incorrect.
E: awkward

D: having proper subject-verb agreement and "its" is matching with "publics".

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14 Jun 2004, 23:16
TeHCM wrote:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

B. UFOs and they are generally curious about extraterrestrial life which has
c. UFOs, as well as their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
D. UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has
E. UFOs, as well as general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have

I think that the answer should be C.

'The belief and curiosity [smth and smth, makes it a plural]... have generated...'
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15 Jun 2004, 00:22
TeHCM wrote:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

B. UFOs and they are generally curious about extraterrestrial life which has
c. UFOs, as well as their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
D. UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has
E. UFOs, as well as general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have

The public is a group noun and it is singular, therefore the corresponding pronoun is "it"; hence "its general curiosity." This eliminates choices A, B, and C.

The key that unlocks the sentece here is the punctuation. If the subject and the "as well as" structure are set off by commas, "as well as" becomes a paranthetical structure that does not affect the subject/verb agreement. Hence D.

Note how the use of "their interest" changes the meaning of the sentence. Because "their" immediately follows UFOs, now it is UFOs that are curious and "extraterrestrial life" now means not two-headed monsters from outer space but earthlings
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15 Jun 2004, 01:13
ob wrote:
TeHCM wrote:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

B. UFOs and they are generally curious about extraterrestrial life which has
c. UFOs, as well as their general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have
D. UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has
E. UFOs, as well as general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have

The public is a group noun and it is singular, therefore the corresponding pronoun is "it"; hence "its general curiosity." This eliminates choices A, B, and C.

The key that unlocks the sentece here is the punctuation. If the subject and the "as well as" structure are set off by commas, "as well as" becomes a paranthetical structure that does not affect the subject/verb agreement. Hence D.

Note how the use of "their interest" changes the meaning of the sentence. Because "their" immediately follows UFOs, now it is UFOs that are curious and "extraterrestrial life" now means not two-headed monsters from outer space but earthlings

Thanks ob,

There's merit in your explanation, as usual. I don't know how I could have been so unattentive.
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15 Jun 2004, 06:07
(C) and (E) use "have" for belief, so they are out.
(A), (B) and (C) uses "their", "they" and "their" respectively for public, so they are out as well.
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15 Jun 2004, 07:57
Nice explanation about parenthetical elements ob.
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Paul

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15 Jun 2004, 08:40
I got A but now I C that it was a miss. Do you think that the it instead of their in A would have worked magic.
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15 Jun 2004, 10:06
"its" would not have made the cut because it would then refer to the closest singular noun "existence" and obviously "the existence" does not have any curiosity about anything
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Paul

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15 Jun 2004, 10:13
Paul wrote:
"its" would not have made the cut because it would then refer to the closest singular noun "existence" and obviously "the existence" does not have any curiosity about anything

Hmmm! I C. Now I understand. Thanks Paul.
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15 Jun 2004, 10:49
riding the D bandwagon here...
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15 Jun 2004, 11:25
Iam just wondering that isnt it a compound subject after we have and/as well as .. so doesnt it needs a plural verb Have?
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15 Jun 2004, 12:22
Wow, so many responses. Thanks guys!

QA is in fact D.

I am at work now so I haven't had the chance to look over the responses yet.

But why is BELIEF the subject? i thought its both BELIEF AND CURIOSITY that generated interest?
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15 Jun 2004, 12:34
guest wrote:
Iam just wondering that isnt it a compound subject after we have and/as well as .. so doesnt it needs a plural verb Have?

Be careful, we are talking about a parenthetical element here. A parenthetical element is a piece of information, usually set within commas, which is non-essential and can be removed.

D) The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has generated considerable interest in science fiction

What is in red is non-essential information which can be removed and the use of "has" would be warranted.
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Paul

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15 Jun 2004, 20:03
Paul wrote:
guest wrote:
Iam just wondering that isnt it a compound subject after we have and/as well as .. so doesnt it needs a plural verb Have?

Be careful, we are talking about a parenthetical element here. A parenthetical element is a piece of information, usually set within commas, which is non-essential and can be removed.

D) The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs, as well as its general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, has generated considerable interest in science fiction

What is in red is non-essential information which can be removed and the use of "has" would be warranted.

Paul, so do you mean that if the sentence read

The public's widespread belieft in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life.....would lead to a plural verb in the end?

But since the answer choices left us with the comma before as well as, the singular was used?
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15 Jun 2004, 20:11

conjunction "and" would warrant the use of plural form "have"
X and Y have...
vs
X, as well as Y, has
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Paul

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21 Jun 2004, 21:13
Paul wrote:
:yes
conjunction "and" would warrant the use of plural form "have"
X and Y have...
vs
X, as well as Y, has

Thanks for clarifying...that is tricky..
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22 Jun 2004, 04:49
Paul wrote:
:yes
conjunction "and" would warrant the use of plural form "have"
X and Y have...
vs
X, as well as Y, has

In general, your explanation is correct.

But in this situation, the conjunction "and" comes inside a prepositional
phrase. The subject still is "belief", which is singular. Thus, the verb
should be singular.
22 Jun 2004, 04:49
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