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Somebasic stuff

by iamtrying » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:57 pm
hey guys
i am jsut brushing up on some basic stuff and am confused on the following. can you help?
1) Strawberries and Cream (was/were) the only dessert.
i think it is were? correct/wrong?

2)our chief hope today (is/are) the men and women with a broder vision.
what is the subject in this?

thanks in advance

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by dblazquez » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:36 am
1) AND is a conjunction and always makes plural verbs. Be careful with additive sencentes, such as "in addition of", "along with", "in company of" and other nasy middlemans that use singular verbs. Take a look to Manhattan SC or any collection of notes built in top of it (psahill or speedy for example)

In your example -a good one- it is not clear wether the dessert as itself is "strawberries and cream" or you can choose between strawberries OR cream. Probably it is the first case, and you can take it as kind of a collective noum. In that case, i'd pick singular verb.

2) IMO this one is clearer for two things: the subject of the sentence is "hope" , a singular noum, so the verb should agree to it. The second part of the sentence " the men and women with a broader vision " is not relevant for determining the singular/plural aspect.

Hope this helps! correct me if something is wrong!
Daniel

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by iamtrying » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:10 am
daniel
thanks for the response....how did you figure out the subject in #2? do you ask the Who/What question to the verb? what (is/are) the men and women with a broader vision? is my approach correct?
sorry for being so stupid, but sometimes i have trouble picking the subject.

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by dblazquez » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:27 am
Come on, questions are never stupid; but sometimes answers are :)

ant this one definetely makes reader think!

You are pointing an interesing question, how to detemine the subject? ok, the typical answer is "ask to the veb who is doing the action". This approach is pretty straight on active verbs (like eat, have, speak...) but with the to be, can be more difficult, IMO.

Lets put a simpler example
My cat (is/are) fat and lazy.

in this case it's clear which one is the correct, right?

i think in this case, the subject is determined by what part of the sentence we want to put the stress on. In the original example, we are putting the stress on "hope", becaming the subject of the main verb "to be". But we could put the stress also in the man and women
The man and women with a broader vision ARE our hope today.

So, we have also to look for the semantic meaning of the sentence... any gramma rule can backup this idea?

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by iamtrying » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:02 am
thanks dblazquez. very good response.

i would love to hear more about figuring out subjects/objects?

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by beatthegmat » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:02 am
Spidey's Sentence Correction Notes is a great place to begin your GMAT grammar prep...

Best of luck!
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