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The horse has been found.
The cattle have been found.

Both are correct. The cattle is plural always. We cannot insert "a" before it. We cannot say "a cattle".

When two sentences or clauses are joined by "or" the verb agrees with the closest subject.

{Has/Have} the horse or the cattle been found?

But here an interrogative sentence begins with the verb "to have" and the verb is closer to horse which is singular, so how?

Suppose we need to add a question tag. What would we say?

One note I may add; I think the question itself is incorrect, therefore I hinted to "{Has/have} either the horse or the cattle been found?" and here it should be "have".

{Has/Have} either the boy or the girls reached the location?

Answer the question: No, neither the boy nor the girls have reached the location. What would you say?

2 Answers 2

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The question you are asking is somewhat unclear. However, from what I have understood here is my answer: The question "Has the horse or the cattle been found?" is grammatically correct. The verb "has" agrees with the singular subject "horse," and the word "or" is used to indicate that there are two possible subjects.

When you are creating a question tag, you should use the verb form that matches the subject and tense of the main sentence. In this case, since the main sentence is in the present perfect tense and "horse" is singular, the question tag would be "hasn't it?"

If the main sentence is "The cattle have been found." the question tag would be " haven't they?" because cattle is plural subject.

You are correct that when two clauses are joined by "or" , the verb agrees with the closest subject. In this case, the subject closest to the verb is "horse" which is singular so we use "has" as the verb.

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  • Thank you @Neil I think the question itself is incorrect, therefore I hinted to (( Has \ have either the horse or the cattle been found ? and here it should be ( have ) Has, Have) either the boy or the girls reached the location? Answer the question: No, neither the boy nor the girls have reached the location. What would you say ? Jan 19, 2023 at 4:02
  • By the way, I agree the topic ( picture ) which I picked from one book of grammar is also confusing or not correct in 6 I am not the sinner I am just a learner Jan 19, 2023 at 13:51
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The correct answer according to how the question is written first = has

Has \ have the horse or the cattle been found ?
' Has the horse or the cattle been found ?

But it is better to rewrite as

Have either the cattle or the horse been found ?


It really made me confused first.

All grammar books do not mention any grammar rule or specific grammar rule for the subject verb agreement in the interrogative sentences and all what they say, is a general rule ( two subjects connected by [ neither nor \ either or \ not only but also \ or ] the verb agrees with the closest subject. However, the verb with ( either or \ neither nor ) comes after the conjunctions ( nor \ or ) not like the interrogative the verb ( auxiliary ) of coerce introduces the sentence

The say the verb , but they don't clear it out ( is it the auxiliary verb or the lexical verb) ?

You read a book more than 700 pages and you find it lacking many rules or not clear rules, so how the beginner can learn the grammar correctly?

Second thing : I every day search Google , but I can't find British authors or American authors. The only authors I found are not native speakers and most of them are from East Asia or few number of them from Europe ( German , Check etc, french ) who are learners like me.

Thank you very much I excuse if I bothered you

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