If I'm talking/writing about a mixture of singular and plural objects, do I use "is " or "are" ?
For instance is it "Cats or dogs or an elephant is in the room" or "Cats or dogs or an elephant are in the room" or neither? Is the subject the collection and because there are more than one items, plural, irrespective of whether the individual items are singular or plural?
If you and I is in the room that sounds all wrong.
If they, you and I is in the room...that's wrong too, grammatically wrong.
Likewise if cats, you and I is in the room that's wrong.
So I'd use the plural cos they're all grouped together.
Cats or dogs or an elephant are in the room.
And if you can't tell the difference between a cat, a dog and an elephant Eugene......
eubug, the way to test the proper usage is to break the sentence down. Cats are in the room. Obviously, cats is in the room is not only grammatically incorrect, but awkward. Do the same with each noun/subject and you'll have your answer.
You may want to check out an article I wrote addressing this and a few other grammar issues:
https://hubpages.com/literature/Element … ur-Grammar
I hope this helps!
I am a former legal editor of 30 years, and we would not allow this sentence to be used as is. We would rewrite the sentence something like this: "Each room contained either cats or dogs or an elephant."
And I might add that is still pushing it a little. In our editing we probably would have to be more specific. In this case, perhaps we were discussing an animal reserve, so we would describe the house as having separate rooms for the animals. Thus we would say that each room would be set up for multiple cats or dogs or for one elephant.
My explanation may be a little overblown, but I think you get the picture.
To be honest, I'd try to rephrase the sentence so it's all either plural or singular.
If you use or/nor the last word of the subject will tell you if you will use plural or singular. Since "an elephant" is your last word that will be singular.
We also use like that what Eric has told. I do not know whether it is a rule as per the grammar books.
I agree with Marisa. I would rephrase. Split it into 2 sentences.
It's an awful sentence, both to write and read.
The room might contain cats, dogs, or even an elephant.
Hmm, that's different to CDJ's logic and "is" is correct?
That's a helpful example... and the second version reads more fluently.
An elephant or cats or dogs are in the room.
It's very Shrodinger We won't know until we open the door.
"You and I", is joined by "and".
"You or I" is joined by "or".
If the words are combined by "and" it means both or all of them.
If the words are combined by "or" it means either of them.
His first sentence "You and I is in the room" is wrong but if the sentence is "You or I is in the room", it's correct.
But "You or I is in the room" sounds incorrect. I would say "If you or I are in the room".
Maybe there are exceptions to the rule under certain circumstances?
It is neither You or I that is in the room. Does the sentence sounds correct? When I was in the university, our ethnic culture professor was not seen to lecture for 3 days. Two days later he appeared. "Where were you?" is the question the class post to him. I doubt if the sentence with the 'were' instead of are is correct?
To complicate things should it be "If I or your are in the room" and not "If you or I are in the room"?
In a formal sentence, "I and you" is most acceptable.
But that would be both people. I'm just thinking of binary logic where "or" and "and" mean two different things. So "you or I" could be a possible scenario. So e.g. "If your or I are in the room we can lock the cabinet" meaning either of us can do it.
I think Eric’s grammar book provides the answers, but there are different rules.
Adopt plural for ‘and’
Matching subject/verb agreement for the last subject, when using ‘or.’- This seems a little illogical to me, especially when using I in a sentence. I think I automatically adjust the wording to accord with what seems correct.
Following the grammar rules, it would be as follows:
If you and I are in the room....
If you or I am in the room....
If I or you are in the room....
Never use "I" first. I checked online grammar programs in case the rules have changed and in no case can I find a case of using "I" first.
I and my dog will pay you a visit tomorrow.
It may be acceptable but it still sounds wrong.
My dog and I will pay you a visit tomorrow.
I'll pay you a visit tomorrow and bring my dog.
Just being nitpicky here, but shouldn't it be: I'll pay you a visit tomorrow and bring my dog along?
The sentence just sounds incomplete to me without the word along or too, or something else.
The verb 'bring' is complete in that sentence. Try changing 'my dog' to 'the cake'. However, you could add 'along' or 'with me' if you prefer, when the thing you are bringing is self-propelled
I wouldn't use 'too' unless it was, 'I'll pay you a visit tomorrow; I'll bring my dog and my cat too.' I'd probably break that into two sentences.
It's picky really... conversation should be written as spoken naturally, so people should go with what sounds right to them. There's great value in reading your writing aloud.
Interestingly, it's all good with a replacement lol.
English is a pig to learn, even when you grow up with it
As a foreign language klutz, I am always in admiration when others master it so well.
I did Latin in school and loved its logic.
But latin sounds more of a "dead" language than a living language. In your neiborhood, did 1 out of 10 knows a basic latin grammar? French grammar can be okay or fine with them.
Do you know the University of Uyo, Meighbakagh?
Yes, it was lately a new university. But what's the issue?
Nothing, I just want to say that the profile of the man that I posted say that he's from Univ. of Uyo. I've searched the Univ. Of Uyo and it says that it's in Nigeria, the country where you live.
You mean the profile of the man can help educate us on the grammar question? I mean the post-"This one can help us." While I'm using a phone and not a laptop. So I ask for a link to go direct online, because the post appear very small on my phone screen.
Latin is excellent for helping a person learn language structure. It's not dead because it is used by scientists, botanists, gardeners, and doctors the world over. It is the international standard for naming species, diseases, etcetera (quod erat demonstrandum ). It's fascinating to see how many English words come from Latin and how many Latin phrases we use in everyday language.
I don't know about my neighbourhood, but I had a classroom full of fellow students, and we all learnt basic Latin grammar. I dropped French and Welsh at age 13.
You must read some of David Crystal's books Bev - you probably have them all? The man's a walking encyclopedia and much much more.
No, I don't. Just took a look and they seem really interesting. I found a couple on Scribd too - yay! I highly recommend Scribd - a monthly sub, the price of an average book, gets you all the research and leisure reading/listening you need.
Thanks, Chef x
Bev, how correct you are. And as you can see, that is within the four walls of the classroom. QED/QEF. Yes, latin impacted science-biology, zoology, batany, and the others. "Blessed are those who know latin and the nicests of languages." Yes, I still remember many latin phrases in course of my history academy: perva sub injetar, or just in passing English 'sub rosa.' I went to a grammar school, where latin along with french is taught. No Englishman speak latin every day except Italy and latino countries? Quo bono? Why did you drop Welsh, a part of your mother tongue as an English woman?
English I am never learning, just growed up with it and all seems fine to I when I writes and speaks me to others. Innit?
I really want to learn American but can't seem to find the right corse.
I had four years of German at school and struggled with der, die, das, den etc etc etc...accusative, dative, nominative and genitive...and a host of other necessary grammar. Powerful language but not so pretty.
Now married to a Dutch woman I've been trying very hard for years to get my throat around certain consonants and vice versa.
Love your answer, Ragged Edge. English is very difficult, but it is so simple to me. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only foreign language klutz. I didn't take Latin, but English is Germanic, not a Romance language, so I've been told by the experts that it doesn't help with English, just Spanish, French and Italian. I just can't seem to get the conjugation of Spanish and their pronouns down. So maybe my concentration on English is what has helped me.
Thanks, but my reply used the example given and applied Eric’s grammar book rules to the same, to highlight the differences.
Also, I believe Bev had already identified the matter of subject order, in an earlier reply.
Isn't it also a grammar rule that "I" would come at the end, so option three is a no-go? Maybe it is not really a rule but just something that is accepted as being polite?
Yes, that’s correct Brandon. I was just applying the grammar rules using the example given, although did reference the illogical nature of applying it to ‘I’ in a sentence.
It does give rise to the matter of pronoun order, but I believe Bev had already highlighted that in a discussion with Miebakagh.
The only formal ‘rule’ about this I could find online, was 2-3-1. This being second person, third person and first person. Not something I personally recall learning in school, as I think it’s just intuitive.
Use the phrase "you and I" if it is the subject of the sentence, and use "you and me", if it is the object of the sentence. "You and I" is usually located a the beginning of the sentence while "you and me" is in the middle or end of the sentence.
You and I are friends.
You and I join the contest.
The prize win by you and me.
No, "you and I" is the correct expression and definitely not "me and you". I used to get my grammar corrected as a child by my mother However I do say "me and you" now. Grammar doesn't have to be perfect, at least when speaking, but some expressions do sound really bad, e.g. "I seen" rather than "I saw".
English Grammar aside, what sounds naturally and is understood is correct.
But it does depend where in the sentence it is. An awful lot of people use "you and I" when they shouldn't, thinking it is more correct.
"I" is the subject of a sentence. "Me" is the object. The same applies when it's linked, as in "You and I" or "you and me".
It depends on whether it is the subject or the object of the sentence. If the subject, then 'I'; if the object, then 'me'.
You and I will go shopping.
The cold weather affects you and me.
Not necessarily true, raggededge. You, my brother and I went to the store. When we got there my brother bought ice cream cones for you and me. He didn't buy an ice cream cone for I. That just doesn't make sense. It depends on what purpose the pronouns serve in the sentence - subject or object.
I meant, when using 'You and I', it is never 'I and you'. It was in reply to Miebakagh's post.
Of course it's not applicable when the the first person pronoun is the object of a sentence.
And in your example, the natural word is 'us'
I was taught that it was rude English not to put the other person first when you are using "you and/or I" or a proper noun and I like "Jim and I". In formal writing you would definitely say "the teacher and I" not "I and the teacher"
I agree with you. But have you notice the teacher no matter your age is elder? Out of respect, courtesy, and formality we say: "The teach and I." Natural English will tell you that is also applicable to any of your elders. When it comes to your juniors, it's a different thing-. "I and you." But it is had for me to find out what the grammar books said about this later part as touching the juniors...I mean a cmfirmation. "I and my little girl will visit the Greens tomorrow."
I agree with Eugbug, this isn’t correct Eric. Subject/verb agreement isn't met in either scenario. It’s either:
‘You are in the room’ or ‘I am in the room.’ ‘Is’ doesn’t belong in the example given. I tend to look at the subject(s) as a whole, as CdJ indicated. More than one, so would use ‘are’ which also accords with, ‘we are in the room.’
You are in the room. I am in the room. Is does not come into play at all.
That is correct according to Harbrace Handbook, which is one of the references that we used, but their example is something one would use in everyday language. I still wouldn't use your example. If I needed that exact example I would rewrite it.
I'm sorry about my "You or I is in the room" sentence. I have noticed it. My internet got slower so I couldn't edit it. Sorry to my late reply. I know it's wrong. "You and I" have confused us. Let's change the "you and I" into "a dog or a cat, they are both singular. Now, it is "A dog or a cat is in the room". It becomes correct, doesn't it?
Sorry, I was incorrect. Since "I" is a first person singular pronoun, I should have used "am", not is. So "If you or I am in the room...." according to the rule as Marketing Merit suggests, but "If you and I are in the room...." sounds better.
Yes, it make complete sense when the sentence is split or separate. A dog is in the soom/A cat is in the room. What else?
Heck, I was specific commenting on Mizbejabbers' latest post. Yea, she didn't mention the elephant in that comment which you thoughi I forgot. Okay, the/an elephant is in the room which sounds unnatural, akward, and weird. The elephant is in the zoo.
English has lots of rules. It easy for you to study it because English and other languages in Europe are correlated. :-) :-) :-) Unlike me, I'm an Asian. English and Asian languages have very different grammar rules, sentence structures, and terms. :-( :-( :-(
Well your proficiency in English is better than mine in any language I learned Having a good memory helps. I could never remember all the different tenses of verbs, phrases, vocabulary etc.
Eugene, with your cats or dogs or elephant in the comment capsule you set the cat among the pigeons and got a whole host of folks thinking grammatically, inside the box and out, from Schrodinger to Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, until along came Education (thanks Eric) to finally point out the elephant in the room, which may or not have been there in the first place, according to which school of thought you follow, be it conventional, regulatory or cultural, the end result could mean that the difference between and and or or or and and is as wide as the seas are deep .....
Something tells me I have too much time to think
It's more than that. The readers were taking a mock test! Exam coming next week?
I agree with you, Lobo. I realize I went to elementary school in the Dark Ages, but my teacher would have marked as incorrect any sentence that said "I and you" or "me and you". I have not been able to find in any online grammar book that it is correct to put I or me first. Neither the Chicago Manual of Style or Harbrace Handbook (which I use for references) show it to be correct. I think it is a new thing started by young people who didn't listen to their English teachers.
My country ranks the highest score in English proficiency in Asia, number one in the world's business English proficiency, and 70% of the population are trilingual and in the future, a large percentage of the population could be quadrilingual because the government has plans to teach Spanish in schools. I don't know who invented English, but if I would have a chance to go back to the past, I will tape his mouth. :-) :-) :-)
Ha ha ha!
You should listen to Welsh. This is the name of a railway station in North Wales: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
I can say that
Present day Welsh is the descendent of the original language spoken across Britain. So be happy you had to learn English and not a bunch of wet consonants and pesky mutations.
English is a mix up of Anglo Frisian/Saxon, Latin, and a whole host of other languages.
Me think this getting out of hand. Time for a calming beverage; perhaps one of the fruitier Welsh Chardonnays.
Ah! Love all those Latin-derived words such as bungalow, kindergarten, and rutabaga.
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