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Sunject verb agreement basics

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Director
Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Posts: 551
Location: Kolkata,India

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15 Oct 2009, 02:30
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Hey... I am working on my basics of sub-verb agreement. Can someone explain the answers. Thanks!

1) Her partner and business associate, Jan Holder, distribute/ distributes the daily mail.

distributes

2) The staff is/are eating at their desks to make Tuesday's news deadline.

is

3) The group of store managers have/ has begun to arrive, one by one.

have

4) Both -- either a second or a subsequent call -- are/is considered to be a follow-up call.

are

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Director
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 830
Name: Ronak Amin
Schools: IIM Lucknow (IPMX) - Class of 2014
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 02:45
2
1. Only one person called JH is involved, so verb is singular. 'partner' and 'business associate' are only two attributes assigned to JH.

2. Collective nouns are singular, e.g. team, staff

3. This can be tricky. Normally for 'one of' constructions it always helps to see the context. 'one by one' means there are multiple entities, however we already have 'group' as singular. So the sentence is referring to people within the group.

4. 'both' is the subject...plural verb needed.
Director
Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Posts: 551
Location: Kolkata,India
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 03:55
For 1) "AND" signifies plural??
For 3)"of" is a middleman so we concentrate on "group" which iis singular...really didn't get this on!
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Senior Manager
Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 21:18
1
tejal777 wrote:
For 1) "AND" signifies plural??
For 3)"of" is a middleman so we concentrate on "group" which iis singular...really didn't get this on!

The “and” is part of the modifier which is not the main subject. The modifier modifies the main subject “Jan Holder”, who is singular. The verb associated to the main subject must also be singular then.

I haven’t contributed a lot to the SC forum so not sure if “middleman” is commonly used, but if you are referring to middleman in the way that MGMAT does than “of” is not a middleman here. The main subject is “group of managers”, not just “group”. I agree with Economists explanation above on why verb is plural but didn’t pick that up straightaway.
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 291
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 21:57
3
tejal777 wrote:
For 1) "AND" signifies plural??

AND is not used as a "additive phrase" in this sentence. Lets see why not:

Her partner and business associate, Jan Holder, [strike]distribute[/strike]/distributes the daily mail. - In this sentence, the part underlined plays a role of a modifier, which modifies the (singular) subject Jan Holder. Here word AND is not connecting two different subject, but is connecting two different qualities or roles of the singular subject Jan Holder. This is the reason we need to use singular form of the verb.

Now consider this example:
Her partner, Jan Holder and her business associate distribute/[strike]distributes[/strike] the daily mail. - Again, in this sentence, the part underlined plays a role of a modifier, which modifies the (singular) subject Jan Holder. But now word AND is connecting two different subjects, Jan Holder and one other business associate. This is the reason we need to use plural form of the verb.

tejal777 wrote:
For 3)"of" is a middleman so we concentrate on "group" which iis singular...really didn't get this on!

As Economist has already said correctly in his previous post, the sentence is referring to people within the group. The subject of the sentence here is not the group itself, but the people of group who arrived one by one.
Lets rephrase the sentence to make is more clear.

Original sentence: The group of store managers have/has begun to arrive, one by one.
Rephrased sentence: One by one (the members of) the group of store managers have/[strike]has[/strike] begun to arrive. - The subject of the sentence here is clear now . So we need to use plural form of the verb, have.

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Intern
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Location: United States
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2013, 00:26
hgp2k wrote:
tejal777 wrote:
For 1) "AND" signifies plural??

AND is not used as a "additive phrase" in this sentence. Lets see why not:

Her partner and business associate, Jan Holder, distribute/distributes the daily mail. - In this sentence, the part underlined plays a role of a modifier, which modifies the (singular) subject Jan Holder. Here word AND is not connecting two different subject, but is connecting two different qualities or roles of the singular subject Jan Holder. This is the reason we need to use singular form of the verb.

Now consider this example:
Her partner, Jan Holder and her business associate distribute/distributes the daily mail. - Again, in this sentence, the part underlined plays a role of a modifier, which modifies the (singular) subject Jan Holder. But now word AND is connecting two different subjects, Jan Holder and one other business associate. This is the reason we need to use plural form of the verb.

tejal777 wrote:
For 3)"of" is a middleman so we concentrate on "group" which iis singular...really didn't get this on!

As Economist has already said correctly in his previous post, the sentence is referring to people within the group. The subject of the sentence here is not the group itself, but the people of group who arrived one by one.
Lets rephrase the sentence to make is more clear.

Original sentence: The group of store managers have/has begun to arrive, one by one.
Rephrased sentence: One by one (the members of) the group of store managers have/has begun to arrive. - The subject of the sentence here is clear now . So we need to use plural form of the verb, have.

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In the Second Question

Quote
" The staff is/are eating at their desks to make Tuesday's news deadline. "
Unquote

The Staff is singular. However the pronoun "their" is plural. So I believe, it will not be correct to conclude that "is" will be used.
Intern
Joined: 16 Oct 2016
Posts: 1

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17 Oct 2016, 10:19
Can someone please explain why 3. is plural and not singular? I thought "Group" is a Collective Noun, for instance "Our army of a hundred thousand soldiers is attacking the enemy. BTW I have this example from the MGMAT Guide.

Thanks a lot.
Senior Manager
Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 485
Re: Sunject verb agreement basics [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 07:57
TheKern1337 wrote:
Can someone please explain why 3. is plural and not singular? I thought "Group" is a Collective Noun, for instance "Our army of a hundred thousand soldiers is attacking the enemy. BTW I have this example from the MGMAT Guide.

Thanks a lot.

Correct for question 3 answer should be singular " has ".
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Re: Sunject verb agreement basics   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2017, 07:57
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