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The red and white roses are both beautiful.




The above examples show that, in this case, the subject expressed by an abstract noun stands in the singular; with class nouns we either repeat the article and put the noun in the singular or use the article once and put the noun in the plural.

6. If the subject is expressed by a defining, indefinite, or negative pronoun (each, either; everybody, everyone, everything, somebody, some­one, something, nobody, no one, nothing, neither; etc.), the predicate is in the singular.

In turneach of these four brotherswas very different from the other, yet they, too, were alike. (Galsworthy)

Everybody was glad to see Martin back. (London)

There was something in her silence which disconcerted him. (Galsworthy)

Nobody was at home — Soames in London, Annette at a garden party. (Galsworthy)

There was nothing to attract attention or excite alarm in this. (Dickens)

7.If the subject is expressed by an interrogative pronoun (who, what) the predicate is usually in the singular.

"Who is to apply to her for permission?"I asked. (Collins)

Tom called: "Hold!Who comes here into Sherwood Forest without my pass?" (Twain)

What was there in him that could make him feel that shameful impulse in Regan's office? (Wilson)

If the question refers to more than one person the predicate may be used in the plural.

Who were to be the subjects of their piracies was a matter that did not occur to him. (Twain)

8.If the subject is expressed by a relative pronoun (who, which, that) the predicate agrees with its antecedent.

Mrs. Gowan, who was engaged in needlework, put her work aside in a covered basket, and rose a little hurriedly. (Dickens)

Near them were the oldpeople who were watching the danc­ing. (Abrahams)

She (Lillian) looked at his handsomeface, which was turned to hers, with childlike simplicity. (Dreiser)

This gentleman told me of two recentevents in his life,which were of some importance and which had not previously reached my ears. (Collins)

9.If the subject is expressed by the emphatic it the predicate is in the singular no matter what follows.

Foreigners say thatit is only English girls who can thus be trusted to travel alone... (Ch. Bronte)

10.If the subject is expressed by a noun in the plural which is the title of a book, or the name of a newspaper or magazine, the predicate is usually in the singular.

"The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club" was written when Dickens was twenty-four years of age.

11. If the subject is expressed-by a noun in the plural denoting time, measure, or distance, the predicate is in the singular when the noun represents the amount or mass as a whole.



Four hundred miles was a huge distance when a man was no longer young and had no means. (Maltz)

Three dollars is the sum laid aside for all other purposes and pleasures. (Dreiser)

Twenty-one years is a longish time, lad, but memory is longer and deeper and stronger than time. (Farnol)

12.If the subject is expressed by a collective noun denoting a group or collection of similar individuals taken as a whole (mankind, humanity, etc.) the predicate-verb is in the singular.

He consoled himself with the idea that perhapshumanity was better than he thought. (Dreiser)

"Well, what is mankind, then, Mrs. Jenkins?" I asked her. "Mankind is all of us," Mrs. Jenkins said, "you and me and everybody you can think of all over the world. That is mankind."(Llewellyn)

13.If the subject is expressed by a noun of multitude, i. e. a collective noun denoting the individuals of the group taken separately {people — люди, infantry, cavalry, gentry, clergy, police, cattle, poultry, jury, etc.) the predicate-verb is as a rule in the plural.

The weather was warm, and thepeople were sitting at their doors. (Dickens)

"I belong to a church that is older and better than the English Church," Mr. Holt said... "in our church theclergy do not marry- (Thackeray)

Thepolice are all over the place. (Kennedy)

At the present time, too many commercialcattle are bred with no particular end in view. (Garner)

As experimental animalspoultry have their excellent points (Hagedeorn)



With collective nouns (family, committee, crew, army, board, chorus* government, party, team, company, band, etc.) as subject the predicate is either in the singular or in the plural; this depends on what is uppermost in the mind, the idea of oneness or plurality.

... the branchcommittee was meeting in the room of a textile trade union. (Lindsay)

... I am glad to tell you, Doctor Manson... that thecommittee have decided by a majority to ask you to remain. (Cronin)

Thecompany was then complete, twenty-one in all. (Galswor­thy)

"One of them might have slipped into the hall, in the confusion, when the dinnercompany were going away," says Mr. Franklin. (Collins)

The Board was again full... (Galsworthy)

The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement... (Dickens)

Michael followed with the Upshires and Aubrey Green, whom he had encountered in the hall.The party was complete. (Galsworthy)

The meal over,the party were free to run and play in the mead­ows. (Ch. Bront§)

... the band was beginning to play a selection from the music of Grieg. (Hichens)

When we came to the house we found thatthe band had arrived and were standing about in the hall. (Du Maurier)

§21. The predicate agrees in number with the subject expressed by a syntactic word-group,1 consisting of two nouns connected by the conjunction and. Here we find agreement according to the meaning expressed in the word-group.

1. (a) If the word-group consists of two nouns denoting different people, things, or notions, the predicate-verb is in the plural.

Andreis and I were alone. (Abrahams)

I knew thatmatter and spirit were one. (Bennett)

Note. Syntactic word-groups forming one part of the sentence should not be confused with homogeneous parts of the sentence. A sentence with two homogeneous subjects can be divided into two sentences with each subject taken separately, independently of the other.

Kath and Pearl were good-looking girls. (Lindsay)

(= Kath was a good-looking girl;Pearl was a good-looking girl.)


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