DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 01-08-2018

1a. Either of the candidates are qualified for the job. (No)

Either of the candidates is qualified for the job. (Yes)

1b. Neither of the major parties are truly interested in our welfare. (No)

Neither of the major parties is truly interested in our welfare. (Yes)

( “Either” and “neither” are singular; they attract singular verbs. The examples do not illustrate proximity concord.)

2a. Corporations who promote their services know the value of advertising. (No)

Corporations that promote their services know the value of advertising. (Yes)

2b. Teachers that do their work diligently will be rewarded. (No)

Teachers who do their work diligently will be rewarded. (Yes)

(Though some grammarians allow the use of “that” to refer to people, “who” is preferred. “Who” refers to people, “that” refers to animals, groups or things and it may also refer to people.)

3a. It was a day which our team will never forget. (No)

It was a day, that our team will never never forget. (No)

It was a day that I will never forget. (Yes)

3b. He directed the play, that he wrote last year. (No)

He directed the play that he wrote last year. (Yes)

He directed the play, which he wrote last year. (Yes)

(When a dependent clause does not require a comma to introduce it, “that” is used and the clause is known as a restrictive, essential or defining. However, when a dependent clause requires a comma to introduce it, “which” is used, and it is known as a non-restrictive, non-essential and non-defining clause. This is the standard rule as positioned by the “father of modern English grammar”, H. W. Fowler (“Dictionary of Modern English Usage”, 1926) though Geoffrey Pullum, linguistics professor, expresses the sentiments of many grammarians thus: “Follow the Fowler rule if you want to; it’s up to you. But don’t tell me it’s crucial or that the best writers respect it. It’s a time-wasting early 20th century fetish, a bogeyman rule undeserving of the attention of intelligent grownups.” For examination purposes, follow the rule.)

Did You Know?

There is actually no future tense in English because the ending of a word has to change for a tense to be. What the English language strictly has is future construction and auxiliary verbs are chiefly used to indicate it.

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