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    Subject verb/ agreement

    Forum > English only || Bottom

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    Subject verb/ agreement
    Message from mohammad51 posted on 29-12-2018 at 13:22:47 (D | E | F)
    Hello
    Please help with these:
    What you plan require skilled workers and good managers. (said correct)
    What we need are more pots and pans. said ( wrong ) And here confusion which rule to follow.
    They said the information after what you need \ what we need determines which verb to choose and according to what they said, there is difference unless in sentence 2, they consider ( pots and pans) = one unit so one subject
    Please can you guide me with these different answers?

    -------------------
    Edited by lucile83 on 30-12-2018 00:04


    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from sherry48, posted on 29-12-2018 at 15:17:35 (D | E)
    Hello.
    What you plan require skilled workers and good managers.
    First, I would consider using present continuous for a more natural sentence, but most importantly, what is your subject, and does it agree with the verb?

    What we need are more pots and pans.
    The information after 'what we need' does determine which verb to choose; pots and pans is one unit.
    Here is a link with another example: Link

    I hope this is helpful.
    Sherry



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 29-12-2018 at 16:45:47 (D | E)
    Hello
    I myself mentioned that they said the information after the the phrase ( what I \we need )determines which verb to choose, then you offered me a link is opposite to what you suggested.
    Is people singular or plural ? Of course ( plural ) ..here their sentences ( the same page you linked sherry48

    --
    What we need is people who :tick: -> What = the thing. (This treats 'people' as a group.)
    What we need are people who :tick: -> What = the things (This treats 'people' as individuals.)
    These people are what we need. :tick: -> The verb agrees in number with the subject
    The first reply said all correct, the next does not agree with ( are .
    The third one agrees, so which one to follow?
    Rather more, here is one of the sentences:
    What we need IS (not are) more pots and pans."

    The verb in this case is singular because the subject is "what" and not "pots and pans", so the singular verb "is" is used.
    Link

    -----
    so no definite rule, but to which we consider a unit or individuals.



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from sherry48, posted on 29-12-2018 at 19:09:22 (D | E)
    Hello.
    Yes, I copied and pasted what you said in my post because it does matter whether or not the item is considered a unit, as you said. I intended the link merely to show the importance of considering whether apparently plural words are actually a unit, that's all.
    Are you saying that 'What you plan require skilled workers and good managers' is correct? I don't think it is quite correct.
    What you are planning requires skilled workers and good managers. OK
    What you are planning will require skilled workers and good managers. OK
    Your plan requires skilled workers and good managers. OK
    Your plan will require skilled workers and good managers. OK
    What you plan requires skilled workers and good managers. maybe, but it sounds a little unnatural
    Sherry



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 29-12-2018 at 20:19:45 (D | E)
    Hello
    but here it is clear said both can be used :
    Subject-Verb Agreement With What Clauses

    " What I need is names and addresses and What I need are names and addresses are both Standard, although the notional attraction from the plural predicate nominatives will tend to make the plural are the choice. Nearly every other use of the what clause requires a singular verb, as in What we need to know today is how much time is left [how many hours are left]." (Kenneth G. Wilson, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Columbia University Press, 1993)
    Link




    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 31-12-2018 at 05:48:03 (D | E)
    Hello
    Could you come please " gerondif" and tell us your idea about this?
    I hope to see you here.
    Thank you in advance




    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from gerondif, posted on 31-12-2018 at 15:32:05 (D | E)
    Hello
    What you need is singular.
    Your project requires strong workers.
    What you plan / project / need requireS strong workers.
    IS or are is like an equal sign in maths and then people might lean toward the plural, although the singular would be logical with a singular subject.
    My idea of happiness is good friends and a glass of wine.
    What we need is serious collaborators.



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 31-12-2018 at 20:55:07 (D | E)
    Hello
    Thank you very much dear excellent teacher gerondif
    indeed, I need this answer ... I know what I need , you need can be a singular as you explained
    What, indeed is not the subject but the object of the verbs (need or require).
    you need something \ something you need. Your desire to search and get something...you want to find these things you need
    So what you need is \ are these things ( perhaps not one )
    So if are more things or different things the verb ( are ) is possible after ( what you need ) ?
    In this way is my question.
    I noticed different ideas but a pdf file I got suggested plural verb for sentence 1 and singular verb for sentence 2 as follow:

    What you plan require skilled workers and good managers. ( different things not one unit )
    What we need is more pots and pans. ( here perhaps the things are considered one unit so is )

    Again for last decision, what do you suggest ?

    Thank you again, and I am very happy to find you answer my questions.

    ----
    Your examples :
    My idea of happiness is good friends and a glass of wine. Here I think it is not like the clause of ( what ) My idea of happiness = singular subject
    What we need is serious collaborators. Here OK you talk about one thing = you need one thing




    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from gerondif, posted on 01-01-2019 at 11:13:31 (D | E)
    Hello
    I don't agree with you.
    What you need is strong workers.
    What is the singular subject of is.
    It is not the object of need, it is the antecedent of a relative clause.
    What you need = The thing that you need is strong workers.
    Who, what, where are singular.
    Who is absent ?
    What is happening ?
    Where you live is not a secret.



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 01-01-2019 at 20:20:41 (D | E)
    Hello
    Dear gerondif
    I know you are a brilliant teacher, therefore I come and ask you.
    Many questions you answered to me and always I feel satisfied, but here with this perplexing matter there are many views.
    Here mentioned ( what ) can be subject \ object according to the book ( The Columbia guide to standard American English)
    PDF page 52 of 972 :
    What is your name? what = subject
    What I need are\ is names and address. what = the direct object

    Please read :
    AGREEMENT OF SUBJECTS AND VERBS 1: CLAUSES BEGINNING WITH WHAT USED AS SUBJECTS
    Notional agreement seems to govern the number of the verb following a what clause. Consider these Standardexamples:
    What is her name? What are their names? Here name and names govern whether what is to be singular or plural. But when the what is direct object, the what clause can agree with either a singular or plural verb: What I need is names and addresses and What I need are names and addresses are both Standard, although the notional attraction from the plural predicate nominatives will tend to make the plural are the choice. Nearly every other use of the what clause requires a singular verb, as in What we need to know today is how much time is left [how many hours are left]. See NOTIONAL AGREEMENT.



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from gerondif, posted on 01-01-2019 at 22:34:04 (D | E)
    Hello.
    I prefer to view the sentence the way I did.
    Your concept of a successful building requires good workers and clever managers.
    What you need for a successful building requires good workers and clever managers.
    For me, what you need is singular because what is singular.
    What you need is hard to find.
    What you need is ( a team of) good workers and clever managers.
    Now, if you wish to follow what your publication tells you, why do you ask if you think you have an official explanation ?



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from mohammad51, posted on 02-01-2019 at 18:44:04 (D | E)
    Hello
    Firstly, I would like to thank you gerondif to any support you offer me.
    Please don't get me wrong; if I am rather satisfied, why to come and ask.
    I agree with you to use a singular verb. You, I , and many people consider the phrase ( what I need \ what you need ) = singular, but many others said the verb should agree to the followed information as with ( here\ there ).
    I agree to use a singular verb if it tends to singular and vice versa.



    Re: Subject verb/ agreement from gerondif, posted on 03-01-2019 at 00:53:33 (D | E)
    Hello
    That problem reminds me of "there is"
    There is a table and four chairs in the room
    There are four chairs and a table in this room.




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