Speak good English: Description (2)

BY: Junior Graphic

We learnt in our previous discussion that the expression:

Your brother and your classmate

refers to two people, for which reason it must agree with a plural verb, as in:

Your brother and your classmate are always late to school.


Your brother and classmate

refer to one person, for which reason it must agree with a singular verb, as in:

Your brother and classmate is always late to school.

With this in mind, let us always be conscious of forming plural subjects that are really plural in terms of grammar and not just in appearance.

When somebody writes or says:

The boy and girl are my friends.

we see that even though he has mentioned two people, in reality, he is referring to only one person from the way the sentence is constructed.

If The boy and girl refers to one person, then the use of the plural verb are is incorrect, so we have to use the singular verb is, as in:

The boy and girl is my friend.

Note that all the following sentences are incorrect because their subjects, which are singular, do not agree with the verbs.

  1. A man and woman are here to see you.
  2. A plate and cup are missing from my box.
  3. The minister and MP want to visit the accident scene.
  4. Your friend and brother know our house.
  5. Her father and mother visit her regularly.
  6. The founder and manager of the team deserve commendation.

How do we make the subjects of these sentences plural, so that they will agree with plural verbs?

(To be continued.)