He is one of those writers who have/has won the Booker prize.

which is correct: 'has' or 'have'?

And why?

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    Both versions are acceptable. For related info, here's this answer post “one of the upgrades that is/are being considered”. – F.E. Jul 2 '15 at 18:57
  • That linked to thread He is one of the men who do/does the work does not have a good answer (it's basically wrong). – F.E. Jul 2 '15 at 19:02
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    I voted to reopen this thread because the linked to thread doesn't have a good answer for this OP's specific question. – F.E. Jul 2 '15 at 19:13
  • To answer your question: If that group of writers had each won the Booker prize, and "he" is one of them, then you can use either "have" or "has". The plural verb "have" works because the relative clause in your example happens to modify "writers". The singular verb "has" works because of the power of "one" in that it often draws singular agreement in a relative clause like the one that is in your example, even though the relative doesn't modify "one". See the answer post that I linked to in my first comment. – F.E. Jul 2 '15 at 19:18
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    Er, anyone can write a book on grammar. So, I don't know how competent the authors of that book might be. Most grammar books out there for general use are full of errors. And many of those books are actually more like style guides, in that they teach an artificial style of grammar that the authors themselves prefer. And often, the authors themselves are weak on their understanding of the grammar of today's standard English. – F.E. Jul 3 '15 at 20:48

I believe the correct word to use is "have". The reason is that the "have" relates to the "authors" not to the original "he". Also you want to add an indefinite article before the Booker prize. So all in all.

He is one of those authors who have won a Booker prize.

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  • I wonder why the downvote? Is it for using a Booker prize as opposed to the Booker prize? – DRF Jul 2 '15 at 11:30
  • I didn't downvote, but it's the Man Booker prize or the Booker prize. See wikipedia page for Man Booker Prize. – F.E. Jul 2 '15 at 18:48

The verb there will apply to the noun which is in its closest proximity. And thus, it'd take 'have'. That is, it'd apply to the 'writers' and not 'he'.

He's one of those writers who have won the Booker prize.

We want to emphasize the group that won the prize. There are quite similar questions here on ELL. One of them is here.

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  • But I can just as easily drop the “of those authors” and get “”He’s one who has win the Booker prize. – Jim Jul 2 '15 at 15:49
  • That changes the 'entire' sentence, Jim! And, I'm afraid, you might need the definite article before 'one'. @Jim – Maulik V Jul 3 '15 at 5:14
  • It only changes the entire sentence if you chose to read it the “other way” and you don’t need the definite article there. Without the definite article it means he is one [of potentially many] who has won that prize – Jim Jul 3 '15 at 5:19

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