DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 10-08-2018

1a. To eat and to jump at the same time is not advisable. (No)

To eat and to jump at the same time are not advisable. (Yes)

2b. To work and study are not as difficult as people think. (No)

To work and study is not as difficult as people think. (Yes)

(When two infinitives are separated by “and”, a plural verb is used. When an infinitive precedes two verbs coordinated by “and”, a singular verb is used.)

2a. A great many lives was lost in the terrorist attack. (No)

A great many lives were lost in the terrorist attack. (Yes)

2b. A good many lecturers is honest and responsible. (No)

A good many lecturers are honest and responsible. (Yes)

(Meaning a very large number of people or things, the idiom, “a great/ good many”, precedes a plural noun and a plural verb.)

3a. Hardly had the Director General reached home yesterday than it started to rain. (No)

Hardly had the Director General reached home yesterday when it started to rain. (Yes)

3b. Our friends had scarcely reached Ibadan than the accident occurred. (No)

Our friends had hardly reached Ibadan when the accident occurred. (Yes)

3c. No sooner had the new chairman resumed when he started to misbehave. (No)

No sooner had the new chairman resumed than he started to misbehave. (Yes)

(When “hardly” and “scarcely” are used, they are followed by “when”, not “than”; when “no sooner” is used, it is followed by “than”, not “when”.)

Did You Know?

“Startling” is the only nine-letter word in English, perhaps the longest in the language, where you can remove one letter at a time and still create a word:
startling,
starting,
staring,
string,
sting,
sing,
sin,
in and
I.

Can you give examples of such words? Let’s go!

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