DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 03-05-2018

1a. He wanted to know the book I am reading. (No)

He wanted to know the book I was reading (Yes).

(Usually, if a part or clause of a sentence is in a tense, the other part also adopts the tense. The exception to this rule is the conventional truth. For example, “The teacher told us that Mercury is a planet.” The present form, “is” is correctly used because Mercury still remains a planet. Another example is: “We were informed yesterday that Muhammadu Buhari is our President.”)

2. Each man and woman are responsible for the current situation. (No)

Each man and woman is responsible for the current situation. (Yes)

(The real subject is “each”; so, the verb is singular.)

3. One should do his best because nothing is permanent. (No)

One should do one’s best because nothing is permanent. (Yes)

(There is “subject-object concord” just as there is “subject-verb concord”. In this example, “one” agrees with “one’s”, not “his”.)

Did You Know?

English is one major language that doesn’t have any organisation guiding it, as opposed to the French Académie Française, the Spanish Real Academia Española and the German Rat für Deutsche Rechtschreibung. These organisations are responsible for the evolution of their respective languages in terms of usage, vocabulary and grammar.

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