Category: Subject and Verb Agreement

Definite Ideas About Definite and Indefinite Articles

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009, at 10:13 am

Take a look at this sentence from a restaurant review that was sent in by a reader: The restaurant operates with an efficiency and authority that defy the chaos in the pleasant but cramped room. Is it correct to use the indefinite article an in front of an abstract noun (efficiency)? If so, should we …

Read More

The Subjunctive Mood

Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008, at 3:24 am

Please note: This original post from March 12, 2008, has been updated and replaced by a new version of The Subjunctive Mood, published on August 11, 2020. An e-newsletter fan came across this sentence: If I were very lucky, I would get the chance to go. She asked, “Shouldn’t I be followed by was, not were, since I is singular?” Let us …

Read More

What Does vs. What Do

Posted on Friday, March 2, 2007, at 3:10 pm

Should we say, "What does Gloria and I have in common?" or "What do Gloria and I have in common?" If you turn the question around to place the subjects first, you would say, "Gloria and I does/do have what in common." Gloria and I are the subjects so we need a plural verb. Which …

Read More

1 9 10 11