Hello,

Could you explain and cite examples please for my reference?

Which one is correct?

a) It was the speaker, not his ideas, that has provoked the students to riot.

b) It was the speaker, not his ideas, that have provoked the students to riot.

Thanks!
Full Member361
Technically, a) is correct since speaker is singular. However, the tense seems to be a little off. I would say: It was the speaker, not his ideas, that provoked the students to riot.

CB
Veteran Member7,892
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Thank you!

How about this?

A) The department members but not the chair has decided not to teach on Friday.

B) The department members but not the chair have decided not to teach on Friday.

Members is plural, so have decided. Why should the chair have a bearing on the choice of the verb? The chair has made no decision whatsoever. He/She may or may not teach on Friday.

CB
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
It was a liitle confusing because of what i saw on the net when i was browsing it.

According to source, If your sentence compounds a positive and a negative subject and one is plural, the other singular, the verb should agree with the positive subject.

mudclayAccording to source, If your sentence compounds a positive and a negative subject and one is plural, the other singular, the verb should agree with the positive subject.
If you already have the answer, why do you ask?Emotion: smile I can only give you my opinion, and I would be very surprised if no one disagreed with me. Language isn't math. There are various opinions about correct usage.

CB
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
I'm not a native speaker, so i just wanted also to hear from a native speaker point of view.Emotion: smile
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