3

Ed Sheeran sings in his Shape of You:

...we push and pull like a magnet do

Shouldn't that do be a does, since magnet is a singular noun?

  • 1
    Neither are needed, however does is correct. – SovereignSun Jun 1 '17 at 12:45
  • Yep, it might sound good without the verb. But in the song he uses it, and he uses the do form. Is this kind of like acceptable "mistake"? – floatingpurr Jun 1 '17 at 12:47
  • 2
    Artistic license. – userr2684291 Jun 1 '17 at 12:54
  • Even under artistic license I'd rather parse this as unusual word order (i.e., a permutation of "We do push and pull like a magnet") than a congruence-mishap – Hagen von Eitzen Jun 1 '17 at 18:19
  • A pop song's not the best place to find grammar so ELL is where I go. – James Jun 1 '17 at 20:11
9

Yes: the verb "do" is associated with the magnet, not with us. But he's rhyming here:

I'm in love with the shape of you / We push and pull like a magnet do / Although my heart is falling too...

Sadly, grammar is sacrificed for His Art. :-)

  • Unleashing the power of Art vs. grammar : ) – floatingpurr Jun 1 '17 at 12:53
  • 1
    It's not really a sacrifice; we call it artistic license :) – user178049 Jun 1 '17 at 12:56
  • 2
    It's something musicians do all the time, to fit a rhyme or just because the grammatically correct word doesn't fit the melody. I remember this line from The Beatles: "She's got a ticket to ride, she's got a ticket to ride, she's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care" I guess "doesn't" didn't fit the music or the rhythm – Jorge Urreta Jun 1 '17 at 12:57
  • 1
    The art of words is to write it without breaking grammar and the art of singing is to say it without stammer. – John Hamilton Jun 1 '17 at 14:16
  • 1
    @JohnHamilton I see what you did there – Doktor J Jun 1 '17 at 14:20

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