"At least one in five U.S. children go without annual dental care and most states lack key policies to ensure access to cost-saving preventive treatments, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Center on the States." - USA Today

This is an interesting example of the flexibility of English!Emotion: nodding

Go vs goes? or Is vs Are? In my language I would use the singular forms.
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Hi CB,

There are times during my writing, I have to stop to ponder for a minute to decide whether I should take the singular or plural verb agreement relative to the context I was writing in. With that editorial comment from USATODAY, I don't know if this is flexibility or 'subjectiveness' of the author. I did a little Googling with "one in five", and what popped up suggested that even the natives can't seem to agree on the rules, because, with that search, some used singular verb and some used plural formal, given that not all of the results are "native written".

I think this is one of those grammatical idiosychrasies in the language that keep perplexing those among us (me included) about which noun takes precedence; the subject noun, or the noun closest to the verb, just like this one.
Is the verb / subject agreement in "one of..", or "idiosynchrasies" relative to the verb "keep"?
To be honest, both seem to have the right tone and sound reasonable to me. The following is a couple of Google examples that illustrates my point.

CDC Newsroom Press Release January 21, 2010

Jan 21, 2010 ... CDC Study Finds [One in Five] American Youths [Have] Abnormal Lipid Levels. Twenty percent of young people aged 12-19 years in the United States ...www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100121.htm - Cached -

[One in five] U.S. teenagers [has] high cholesterol

Jan 25, 2010 ... (PhysOrg.com) -- A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (
CDC) and published in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ...www.physorg.com/news183625758.html - C
Cool Breeze interesting example
It seems to me we should follow the rules for fractions on this one -- which is to make the agreement with the word after of.

One-fifth of children are ...


One in five children are ...

Nevertheless, there's

One child in five is ...

You can't win the game called "English grammar"! Emotion: big smile

CalifJimYou can't win the game called "English grammar"!
Of course you can! Whatever you say or write will be considered correct by quite a few!Emotion: wink

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Good point. Emotion: smile