Sunday, February 03, 2008

Snothing Here

While everyone else I know (OK only three people) is revelling in a winter wonderland at the moment I'm looking out at quite a bright morning with nary a snowflake in sight. Which is slightly depressing because it means we may not get snow until much later this year....and I don't want snow when the baby is due.

Before I go any further I'm hoping a reader will be able to help with some grammar. In my first sentence I'm not sure whether that should have been 'is' or 'are'. If the bracketed bit wasn't there the 'is' is perfectly OK (I think) but the words in the brackets seem to invalidate it and would suggest that I should have used 'are' instead (because of the three people). Perhaps I should have changed those brackets to commas and had it as a clause? But even so the sentence should read correctly if the portion enclosed in commas wasn't there and so 'are' doesn't seem right either!

Perhaps if my school had split English into two subjects (Lang & Lit) instead of cramming it into one, I'd know the answer already? Hopefully one of you people can point me right!


neil h said...

The subject of the sentence is 'everyone' which is a singular object, therefore 'Everyone is' is correct. If you said 'Three people' that's a plural, so that would be 'three people are'. In this case the bracketed section is a description of 'everyone' rather than a subject in its own right. If you are ever in doubt about grammar, just strip the sentence back to its simplest form and see if it makes sense.

Leigh said...

Thanks! That's what I thought but reading it back it sounded a little odd!