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Dear all:

He is one of the few that knows the solution to the problem.
or
He is one of the few that know the solution to the problem.

Do the two "that"s denote different things? Shall we say that the first "that" denotes "he" while the second "that" denotes "the few"? If so, do the two sentences have slightly different meanings?

It seems that the first sentence is more often used. Here is an example from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/films/int/1mm/gluttony/-/films/oneminutemovies/watch/snowball.shtml?glutt... ;
This is the best film on here... and one of the few that bothers with any sense of narrative and character.

Surely there are a few films that bother with some sense of narrative and character. Is it to say that in such case, we usually use "that bothers" rather than "that bother"? Thanks in advance for any enlightenment!
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He is one of the few that know the solution to the problem.

It should be '.. few ... know ... '
Zj.frankDear all:

He is one of the few that knows the solution to the problem.
or
He is one of the few that know the solution to the problem.

Do the two "that"s denote different things? Shall we say that the first "that" denotes "he" while the second "that" denotes "the few"? If so, do the two sentences have slightly different meanings?

It seems that the first sentence is more often used. Here is an example from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/films/int/1mm/gluttony/-/films/oneminutemovies/watch/snowball.shtml?glutt... ;

This is the best film on here... and one of the few that bothers with any sense of narrative and character.

Surely there are a few films that bother with some sense of narrative and character. Is it to say that in such case, we usually use "that bothers" rather than "that bother"? Thanks in advance for any enlightenment!

Hi, good question!

I was wandering whether a slightly different point of view exists as for the subject of the sentence:
He is one [of the few] that knows the solution to the problem.
or
He is one of the few that know the solution to the problem.

After some research, I came across [url=http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/043.html#ONE ] this: [/url]

"one of those who. Constructions such as one of those people who pose a different problem. Many people argue that who should be followed by a plural verb in these sentences, as in He is one of those people who just don’t take “no” for an answer. Their thinking is that the relative pronoun who refers to the plural noun people, not to one. They would extend the rule to constructions with inanimate nouns, as in The sports car turned out to be one of the most successful products that were ever manufactured in this country.

But the use of the singular verb in these constructions is common, even among the best writers. In an earlier survey, 42 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of the singular verb in such constructions. It’s really a matter of which word you feel is most appropriate as the antecedent of the relative pronoun— one or the plural noun in the of phrase that follows it. Note also that when the phrase containing one is introduced by the definite article, the verb in the relative clause must be singular: He is the only one of the students who has (not have) already taken Latin."

For what it's worth, heere are the Google search results for [url=http://www.google.it/search?num=100&hl=en&rlz=1B2GGFB_enIT228IT228&q=%22one+of+the+few+that%22+si... ]
"one of the few of that" [/url] and [url= ]
"one of the few of who" [/url] in the BBC website only. If you consider only sentences in simple present , you will find both "have" and "has", "do" and "does" and so on.

EDITED: "wandering" is a typo for "wondering". My apologies.
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Thanks for the reply. In grammar, it is clear that we should use "one of the few that know". But in real cases, I see usage like "one of the few that knows". To do a survey, I performed a search for the phrase "is one of the few that" on Google. I have limited the results to only those from websites from UK so that most of the results are from native English speakers. The search URL is <http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=100&q=%22is+one+of+the+few+that%22&meta=cr%3DcountryUK%7Ccount... ; in case you want to try it yourself. Please allow me to post some of the results below where you can see both usages. I am wondering if it is OK to use both plural and singular formats.
  • The distillery is one of the few that still malts its own barley, the distinctive peat reek wafting over the village when the kilns are fired up.
  • This artwork is one of the few that have been purchased by... West India Key. West India Key is one of the central quay areas just outside.
  • While a lot of small communities claim to be close-knit and family-like, Oriel is one of the few that genuinely has these qualities.
  • The Swindon Stone, which is one of the few that has never fallen, weighs 64.5 tonnes.
  • Just that sort of thing is one of the few that are on display at the Science Museum in London ...
  • The theory devised by Marina Della Giusta, Maria Laura Di Tommaso and Steinar Strom is one of the few that involves partial differential equations.
  • Of the many disciplines engaged in gaining a better understanding of intelligence, AI is one of the few that has special interest in testing its hypotheses ...
  • Firstly, it is one of the few that have its own research department ...
So, is there a conclusion to draw here? What are your thoughts about it? Thanks.
Tanit
Hi, good question!

I was wandering whether a slightly different point of view exists as for the subject of the sentence:
He is one [of the few] that knows the solution to the problem.
or
He is one of the few that know the solution to the problem.

After some research, I came across [url=http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/043.html#ONE ] this: [/url]

"one of those who. Constructions such as one of those people who pose a different problem. Many people argue that who should be followed by a plural verb in these sentences, as in He is one of those people who just don’t take “no” for an answer. Their thinking is that the relative pronoun who refers to the plural noun people, not to one. They would extend the rule to constructions with inanimate nouns, as in The sports car turned out to be one of the most successful products that were ever manufactured in this country.

But the use of the singular verb in these constructions is common, even among the best writers. In an earlier survey, 42 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of the singular verb in such constructions. It’s really a matter of which word you feel is most appropriate as the antecedent of the relative pronoun— one or the plural noun in the of phrase that follows it. Note also that when the phrase containing one is introduced by the definite article, the verb in the relative clause must be singular: He is the only one of the students who has (not have) already taken Latin."

For what it's worth, heere are the Google search results for [url= ]
"one of the few of that" [/url] and [url= ]
"one of the few of who" [/url] in the BBC website only. If you consider only sentences in simple present , you will find both "have" and "has", "do" and "does" and so on.

Thanks, Tanit!

I was writing my previous reply while you posted this one.

The link you provided is really useful.
Zj.frankThanks, Tanit!

I was writing my previous reply while you posted this one.

The link you provided is really useful.

You're welcome Emotion: smile
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One of the boys is missing. (Only one boy is missing.)

He is one of the boys who are missing.

The boys are missing. He is one of them.

John is one of the boys who are missing.

The boys are missing. John is one of them.

I wonder while I wander.