Sunday, August 14, 2011

Subject–Verb Agreement

The verb are above is wrong; make it is (Straits Times Life! 26 May 2011). 

In English, the verb following a subject should agree with the subject; but if the subject is a complex noun phrase (in this case, TV drama Skins, which shows teens doing drugs and binge drinking), the verb almost always agrees with the head of that noun phrase.

The headline writer has presumably made the verb agree with the plural Skins, but the head of the noun phrase is in fact the singular drama.

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