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Speak good English: Get it correct

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BY: Junior Graphic
LIBRARY PHOTO

Last week we looked at the way we have to make the subjects of sentences agree with their verbs even if the two are far apart.

We said for a sentence to be correct grammatically, the subject of that sentence must agree with its verb in terms of the number and the person of the subject.

But it is common to come across or form sentences whose verbs are separated from their subjects, leading,  in most cases, to the situation where nouns closer to the verbs can easily deceive you to pick verbs that do not agree with the actual subjects, thereby rendering the sentences incorrect.

Last week, we gave examples of such sentences and showed how to select the appropriate verbs to agree with the actual subjects.

The third example, which I asked you, my dear readers,  to analyse, was:

The youngest of Mr Osei's five beautiful daughters --- to become a lawyer.

You got it correct if you selected the singular verb wants.

This is because the subject of the sentence is youngest, which is singular, not daughters, which is closest to the verb and can easily trick you to go for a plural verb.

So the correct sentence is:

The youngest of Mr Osei's five beautiful daughters wants to become a lawyer.