Edit: This might be a duplicate, but I could not find a similar sentence (like mine) in any of the other questions.

I have seen many questions on this topic on SE and forums. But I came across this sentence in a scientific article and was confused about the usage.

The eggs were harvested from our colony which have been in rearing for over 4 generations.

Using the info from the links given, I feel that if the sentence had specifically mentioned 'colony of ants', I feel 'have' would have worked. Is this an AE/BE thing? The article, I believe, was written by an American.

Since the 'colony' is the subject, I feel 'has' would be more appropriate. Am I right?

  • It is just badly written. Neither colony nor eggs can breed. The subject is nominally eggs. It should have which were instead of were. – user2617804 Jun 2 '17 at 9:57
  • I feel like there is a missing "we" and a missing comma: "The eggs were harvested from our colony, which we have been breeding for over 4 generations." – SteveES Jun 2 '17 at 10:01
  • @user2617804 - I'm really sorry. I made a mistake when typing the sentence. I've changed the word 'breeding' to 'in rearing' (which was the phrase used in the original sentence). – MiaC Jun 2 '17 at 11:45
  • Thanks for checking. The original is still bad English- it reads like they wrote one sentence "The eggs were harvested from our colony" and then appended on more words that should in another sentence. – user2617804 Jun 3 '17 at 0:07
  • SteveES- this would typical general style- keeping it all passive. – user2617804 Jun 3 '17 at 0:08

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