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August 04, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 53

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  • Either the whole class or I are in the wrong.  (wrong)
  • Either the whole class or I am in the wrong.  (correct)
    • Explanation : In sentences with exclusive coordinators (i.e., either / or), the verb agrees with its nearest subject. 
  • The news, which you have given me, are excellent.  (wrong)
  • The news, which you have given me, is excellent. (correct)
    • Explanation : News in an uncountable noun and is singular. 
  • Alms were asked by the poor.   (wrong)
  • Alms was asked by the poor. (correct)
    • Explanation : Alms (money or food given to poor people), the subject of the sentence, is a singular noun and needs a singular verb. 
  • My friend and guide, my teacher were alive, when I decided to join the army.  (wrong)
  • My friend and guide, my teacher was alive, when I decided to join the army. (correct)
    • Explanation : The subject of this sentence (i.e., my teacher) is singular. My friend and guide are attributes of the subject. 
  • None of the boys were wearing a cap.  (wrong)
  • None of the boys was wearing a cap. (correct)
    • Explanation : The subject of the sentence (i.e., none of the boys) is singular. None means not any (one).
  • Neither Mr Robin nor his colleagues is going for the vacation.  (wrong)
  • Neither Mr Robin nor his colleagues are going for the vacation. (correct)
    • Explanation : Because of the exclusive coordinator, neither / nor, the verb agrees with its nearest subject (i.e., his colleagues). 
  • My spectacles has been stolen.  (wrong)
  • My spectacles have been stolen. (correct)
    • Explanation : Spectacles is a plural noun and needs a plural verb.
  • My trousers was black in colour.   (wrong)
  • My trousers were black in colour.  (correct)
    • Explanation : Trousers is a plural subject and needs a plural verb.
  • Was there many girls present for the meeting ?  (wrong)
  • Were there many girls present for the meeting ? (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Many girls', the plural subject, needs a plural verb. 
  • Each of these umbrellas are defective.  (wrong)
  • Each of these umbrellas is defective. (correct)
    • Explanation : The subject of the sentence 'each' needs a singular verb. 
  • The teachers as well as the students was surprised.   (wrong)
  • The teachers as well as the students were surprised.  (correct)
    • Explanation : As well as is like and the verb agrees with the whole expression that is the subject of the sentence. (i.e. the teacher as well as the students).
    Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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