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ONE OF THE – WHAT VERB IS USED , SINGULAR OR PLURAL ? GRAMMAR ERROR PART 2

‘ONE OF THE ‘ TAKES SINGULAR

          OR PLURAL VERB

   COMMON GRAMMAR ERRORS PART 2

HUMBLE REQUEST 

 

The lesson may be a controversial one, so kindly read the entire lecture before drawing any conclusions. 

 

Thank You!

SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT

SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT WITH ‘ ONE OF THE ‘

For many learners, understanding how to use a verb with the phrase ‘ one of ‘  is a challenging concept in and of itself. I’m attempting to eliminate all of your doubts in this lesson about how to agree on a verb with its subject in such statements,  bearing the phrase ‘ one of ‘.

 

Typically, it is stated that we should only use a singular verb after ‘one of’. But this isn’t always the case. Depending on the number of the subject addressed, the term has varied rules. The singular or plural form of the verb that agrees, depends on the subjects used in the statement i.e. singular or plural.

 

RULE NO 1.

‘ One of ‘

A singular verb or Plural Verb is used depending on the subject used in the statement i.e. singular or plural.

 

Example

One of the games people are mad after is football.

( Here one game has been chosen out of many  )

One of my paintings is spotted badly when I dropped juice on it by mistake.

( Here also among many paintings, his one painting was spotted. )

RULE NO 2

One of the Noun+Relative Clause

 

Read the following statements carefully :-

Which sentence is correct?

This is one of the pens that are precious to me.

This is one of the pens that is precious to me.

One of the most controversial rules. There is an ongoing debate among grammarians on the proper usage of verb agreement, and study in this area is still ongoing. According to some grammarians, both claims are accurate given the user’s intended meaning. Although a lot of them oppose it. We can clear this debate on these two grounds-

 

a. AWARE OF THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

b. IGNORE THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE.

 

 

a. AWARE OF THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

This is one of the pens that are precious to me. 

In this statement,  the verb is inside the relative clause.  ‘ that are precious to me.’ Because it is starting with a relative pronoun ‘ that ‘ and in such cases, we’ll have to be aware of the prepositional phrase. Because as Garner’s  Modern English usage suggests ‘that’ is the subject of the relative clause, and it takes its number from the plural noun to which it refers. 

 

Thus the statement – This is one of the pens that are precious to me.- is the correct one. 

b. IGNORE THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE.

This is one of the pens that is precious to me.

In this statement, if we concentrate on ‘one’ ignoring the phrase ‘ of the ‘ , the use of the verb is absolutely correct.

 

This one (pen) is precious to me.  

Thus the statement – This is one of the pens that is precious to me 

– is also the correct one. 

 

After a number of arguments, many of scholars agree with our great, English Author, Joseph Addison from the early 1700s, who freely used both singular and plural verbs as he thought best fit his sentences.

RULE NO 3

‘ More than One of  ‘

Again a controversial rule:-

Commonly with the phrase  ‘ more than one of ‘  only a plural verb must be used.

 Example

More than one of his friends are notorious.

More than one of my cousins are attending my 

friend’s birthday party tonight. 

 

But here also some of the arguments arise regarding the use of singular or plural verbs. Some say that only a singular verb must be used here. 

 

Thus, This explanation can also be understood on two grounds.

a. IF THE CONCENTRATION IS ON THE ONE SUBJECT

b. IF THE CONCENTRATION IS ON PLURAL SUBJECT

 

a. IF THE CONCENTRATION IS ON THE ONE SUBJECT

More than one of my cousins IS attending my friend’s birthday party tonight. 

Now, assume anyone asks me , ‘ Is your only one cousin attending the party tonight?

I’ll answer, ” No, not only one cousin is coming but others are also coming. “

Because here my concentration is only on my one cousin for I know he alone is not coming. 

 

Thus in such case, the singular verb is applied.

b. IF THE CONCENTRATION IS ON PLURAL SUBJECT

I’ll reply,  ” No, others are also coming.  “

So in such cases, a plural verb is suitable. 

More than one of my cousins are attending my friend’s birthday party tonight. 

 

So overall , like rule no2 , here also you are free to use any  verb, singular or plural.

 

– MORE THAN ONE-    Tap to study the topic in detail

RULE NO 4- MY OPINION

 Decide what the subject is !

After going through all these painstaking rules, I’d wish to add my opinion with a conclusion that we must choose the exact subject, we want to indicate

Here are two statements:-

Anjani is one of my students who cares for me a lot.

Anjani  is one of my students who care for  me a lot.

In statement 1 , I wish to express my gratitude to Anjani , my student. That is singular in number. Thus I would use the verb5 ( cares) , singular verb.

In statement 2 , I   wish to express my gratitude to the students who care for me and Anjani is one of them Thus, I’ll choose ( care ) plural verb. 

 

Thus, both the statements are correct. Trust me, none, including great English scholars and good grammar checker websites,  are still sure what verbs to use in such statements. You can use freely any verb, you wish to use.

 

 

Positive reviews are invited.

Thank you!

Happy Learning!

Published by Buds of Wisdom

I am Meena Kumari, PGT(English)+ B.ed. Teaching is my passion. Love to guide students in Grammar Learning and build up their writing skills.

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