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120 votes

In the sentence: "Drinking and driving IS dangerous", why does the verb "to be" need to be singular?

Because drinking isn't dangerous, and driving isn't dangerous – at least, not in comparison to the single activity "drinking and driving" – the two words are treated as a single unit. This might ...
J.R.'s user avatar
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53 votes
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Why isn’t the third person singular used in “The Lord bless you”?

No, “the Lord bless you” is the subjunctive, indicating that the speaker wishes for the Lord to bless you. Changing it to “blesses” would therefore change the meaning. Wikipedia explains that this is ...
Laurel's user avatar
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44 votes
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Is this sentence correct? "A lot of sugar have been added to the milk."

A lot of sugar have/has been added to the milk. No, the verb should be the singular "has". The quantificational noun "lot" is number-transparent, which means that the whole noun phrase takes on the ...
BillJ's user avatar
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44 votes
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Many a girl... have or has?

The unusual, but not incorrect 'many a girl' makes it 'has', to agree with the singular. The more common 'many girls' would, of course, use 'have'. They threw you a curve-ball to try catch you out. ...
DoneWithThis.'s user avatar
37 votes

Why is "help you save money" wrong if the subject was plural?

The sentence could be read two ways. One, which you may have intended, is that there are two things that help you save money: 1) living at home and 2) eating your mother's cooking instead of going out ...
Kevin's user avatar
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34 votes
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Why should "are" be used here instead of "is"?

Option B is the correct answer, as your answer key says. The error is in the use of the singular form of the copula "is" with a plural subject. The correct form of the copula is "are" because the ...
Lambie's user avatar
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33 votes
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Why is it "need" in "it need not be thus" instead of "needs"?

This is "modal need". The English verb "need" can be used as a normal verb He needs a drink. I don't need a break. And as a normal verb it has normal grammar. It is transitive ...
James K's user avatar
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32 votes

Should it be "runs" or "run" in the following sentence?

I think he was generalising what young ibex (plural) do in the face of danger: run to steeper ground. In other words, he wasn't just saying that this particular ibex did that (which it did), but all ...
John Burger's user avatar
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32 votes

Is "bananas is" possible by any chance?

If you use "banana" as a measured recipe ingredient, it's an uncountable, singular noun: Banana can be used as a substitute for egg, as it binds the ingredients together. The recipe says to ...
Andrew's user avatar
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28 votes

If I found two $5 bills on the ground, would it be acceptable to say "$10 are on the ground"?

No, most people would consider it incorrect to say "$10 are on the ground". Sums of money are singular. We would say "$10 is on the ground". If the dollars took the form of ten ...
rjpond's user avatar
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25 votes
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"None of the kids were hungry" Or "None of the kids was hungry"

Both sentences are grammatical. When you use the phrase "none of" in front of a plural noun or pronoun, you can use either a singular or plural form of a verb. However, the plural form is common ...
Khan's user avatar
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25 votes
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If "Olympics" is singular, why does it use "were"?

The word Olympics is plural. It's also a shortened expression of the Olympic Games. The history of the games is discussed on the official website: Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games, ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
24 votes
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Is "bananas is" possible by any chance?

His argument is that "bananas" refers to the substance that makes up the fruit, rather than the units, pretty much as chicken refers to the substance, or flesh, in "I like chicken" - not chickens. So ...
J.R.'s user avatar
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24 votes

In the sentence: "Drinking and driving IS dangerous", why does the verb "to be" need to be singular?

There, and is understood to mean "in combination with" hence the singular is appropriate. They are not individually dangerous (if you don't drive recklessly and drink in moderation) and that's why ...
TimR's user avatar
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22 votes

Is this sentence correct? "A lot of sugar have been added to the milk."

No, sugar is an uncountable noun, and A lot does not quantify it, so it takes has: A lot of sugar has been added to the milk. However, if you quantify it, you may say: Two cups of sugar have been ...
Davo's user avatar
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22 votes

Is or are in this context

Well, if you were curious what combined footballer-cricketer your friend liked, you would say "Who is". If you were allowing that the favorite footballer and the favorite cricketer might be two ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
22 votes

"This might occur when a male and female horse see each other." — Why is it correct to use the singular "horse" with the plural "see" here?

It's a slightly awkward phrasing. The noun phrase that governs the verb has a plural meaning. The author means "a male horse and a female horse" This coordination of two singular nouns ...
James K's user avatar
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21 votes

If "Olympics" is singular, why does it use "were"?

"We at ESL library decided to go with..." I don't think you can really take such a decision as an authoritative source. As they say "Olympics" is a collective or, more precisely, uncountable noun. ...
Paul Childs's user avatar
18 votes
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In the expression "There's got to be some" what does the 's stand for?

It stands for "has", but the full form is less likely because if you were writing formally (avoiding contractions) you would probably pay attention to the agreement. Colloquially: "There's got to ...
rjpond's user avatar
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18 votes

Why is "help you save money" wrong if the subject was plural?

Actually both are correct. The subject can be taken as a plural conjunction of two items, or as a singular combined whole. I feel like the singular form (what your teacher suggested) is the more ...
TypeIA's user avatar
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16 votes
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Exist or Exists?

Your choices are The application needs to exist in the codebase. where to exist is an infinitive phrase, or The application exists in the codebase. where exists is the verb.
Peter's user avatar
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16 votes

Why isn’t the third person singular used in “The Lord bless you”?

The Lord bless you. = May the Lord bless you. It uses similar grammar as May..., which sounds plural, but just without the word "may".
Panzercrisis's user avatar
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16 votes

Plurality in "A second set of motors [is/are] attached there"?

My sentence: "A second set of motors are attached there". His correction: "A second set of motors is attached there". In British English, both versions are correct (because ...
rjpond's user avatar
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15 votes

When -s is used with third person singular. What's its use in this context?

Now, this is my best guess, because if you want to know why she did it, you need to ask her. I imagine the answer will be something along the lines of "that's how everyone does it", because it is ...
SamBC's user avatar
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15 votes
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Where is the subject for the verb "has"?

[How banks are defined in America] has changed over time. The bracketed element is a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question) functioning as subject of the sentence. The meaning is: "...
BillJ's user avatar
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15 votes
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Plurality in "A second set of motors [is/are] attached there"?

The version A second set of motors is attached here. is correct. The subject of "is" is the word "set", a singular noun. The preposition phrase "of motors" describes the ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

More users equals/equal more profit

The subject of the sentence here is not really "users." It's the entire concept of "more users." The users aren't doing the "equaling." For this reason, "equals" is correct. You could think of an ...
joiedevivre's user avatar
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14 votes
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When -s is used with third person singular. What's its use in this context?

It is becoming increasingly common during text messaging to write actions as if they are from a script, for example, words like laughs or shrugs describe an action that the other person is doing but ...
Astralbee's user avatar
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13 votes
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"more than one does" or "more than one do"?

Your logic is impeccable; unfortunately the convention is to use "more than one does" even if it's technically a plural. Digging deeper, I found this from the American Heritage Dictionary When a ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k
13 votes

Is or are in this context

As a native BrE speaker, "Who are your favourite footballer..." just sounds wrong, because "are" is plural and "footballer" is singular. "Who is your favourite footballer and cricketer?" is a ...
alephzero's user avatar
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