+0
Yet another question.
This time it is on the matter of singular or plural form:

The Sentence:
One of prerequisites for (student) whose placement test score (is/are) below 500 points and who (wish/wishes) to advance to the next grade (is/are) to retake the following course.

Q1:
The antecedent (student), must this be EITHER (a student) OR (students)? Or could this be left as (student) without an article?

Q2:
Depending upon the verdict out of above Q1, everything else in parentheses thereafter will be affected. Among which, how about the first and highlighted (is/are) ? Even if we choose to use (students) as our antecedent in above Q1, can the sentence after "whose" be left as:

a. (students) whose placement test score is below 500 points ...

or does it have to become ...

b. (students) whose placement test scores are below 500 points ... ?

... These are very precise questions, I know.
I thanks in advance for your inputs.

J
1 2
Comments  
No, you can't leave "student" without an article.

If you use "a student" then the verbs are all singular.

It can be rewritten to be a lot better. Students {Any student} who wish{es} to advance to the next grade but who scored below 500 on the placement test must retake X

If there is only one course, then why say "retake the following course: [name of course]" Why not just say "retake [name of course]."?
Thank you, Grammar Geek.

No, you can't leave "student" without an article. If you use "a student" then the verbs are all singular.
Yes, this is what I wanted to hear. I thought it had to be either singular with "a" or plural with "s".
Again, you are right. There ARE ways to make the sentence much simpler, but this sentence is already there and it is just no use.

If we choose to use (students) as our antecedent, can the sentence after "whose" be left as:

a. (students) whose placement test score is below 500 points ...

or does it have to become ...

b. (students) whose placement test scores are below 500 points ... ?

... If you have time. Thanks again.

J
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
This type of agreement often causes problems.
The girls raised their hands - did they each raise one hand, or did they each raise two? It's hard to tell. Context tells you that you probably mean each raised one hand.
So use test score is, because you could misread that each student had many scores, but you know that students don't share the same test.
Grammar Geek, thanks again for the pin-point answer.

I entirely agree with your view. These are misleading and quite sometimes cause problems.
You are right, as there could be multiple test results, the original sentence was not appropriate to state my real question. Let me restate my question, if I may, with an example of matter which you only have one.

Given that "students" used here is always a plural, whether I can say:

... students whose mother is here with you today and who wish to advance to ...


or must it be

... students whose mothers are here with you today and who wish to advance to ...

In other words, because the word "students" is a plural, must the following word "mother" be a plural as well, because there would 100 mothers for 100 students?

Or you can say "100 students whose mother is here with you ..." because we all know that there is only one mother per student no matter how many students there are.

I really appreciate you are following this tedious question of mine ... thanks again.

J
jazzmasterOne of prerequisites for (student)
Just an aside - "prerequisites" wants an article.

Edit. Students whose mothers are here with them today - -

You must stick with the third person plural.

Otherwise, you could address them, "Dear students: If your mother is here with you today, - - - " You're addressing all the students, but the instructions would apply only to those (perhaps only one) whose mothers are present. It would be understood that you're posing the question to each individual student.

If on the other hand you were to say, "Dear students: If your mothers are here with you today, please go to room 106," it could be argued that all mothers must be present; but it's likely it would be taken in the same way as the example with the singular mother.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Avangi, thanks for dropping by.

Just an aside - "prerequisites" wants an article.
Edit. Students whose mothers are here with them today - -


... You see, I was testing if you are paying attention. No, you got me. I stand corrected. Thank you.

I see your point and it makes a lot of sense. In order to clarify my confusion, I am going to rephrase the entire sentence again. So bear with me please.

The Sentences (rev.)

a. Students
whose mother is present today and who
wish to advance to the next grade, please proceed to Room 106.

b. Students whose mothers are present today and who wish to advance to the next grade, please proceed to Room 106.

c. A student whose mother is present today and who wishes to advance to the next grade, please proceed to Room 106.

... Which sentence is correct in terms of singular/plural form?

Thanks in advance.

J
This is not as easy as it seems at first blush.
I object to a. as we have discussed.
There's a new issue here. Are we addressing the students, or are we making statements? The use of "please" implies that we're addressing them.
So in a. and b., are we addressing only those students whose mothers are present? It seems to work that way.
Grammatically, these are all imperative sentences. "Children, please sit down." What the heck you call "children" (grammatically speaking), I have no idea.

To make these into declarative sentences, we can add the word "should." Students whose mothers are present today and who wish to advance to the next grade should please proceed to room 106. We're still addressing them, but we're making a statement rather than a command.

Example b. seems to work fine either way.

But example c. sticks in my craw. Somehow, when you say "A student," you're no longer addressing them. (I could be wrong.) You're simply making a statement. (declarative, not imperative) So example c. doesn't seem grammatically correct as it stands. I believe you should use only the declarative form with this one: A student whose mother is present today and who wishes to advance to the next grade, should please proceed to room 106. You're "addressing" the whole group, but you're making a statement about one category of students. I know this is also true of example b. I can't seem to put my finger on the difference.

- A.
Avangi, I thank you again.
No, this is not as easy as it appears. As can be seen, it is a hardcore grammar problem.

Insertion of the word "should" ... you are right again. I should have done so. I intended this sentence to be a printed instruction handed out to students, in your words "declarative sentence" which is not an announcement on a speaker.

Your explanations are to the point and starting to make me believe something. I try to describe what my very point is by further simplifying the sentences.

The Sentences (rev.2)

a2. Students
whose mother is present today
are instructed to proceed to Room 106.

b2. Students whose mothers are present today are instructed to proceed to Room 106.

c2. A student whose mother is present today is instructed to proceed to Room 106.

... the core points that I really want to ask you are:
Given that this sentence is a written handout to guide students through the registration process for the academic year:

Q1:
Is it grammatically correct to write the word "mother" in a singular form even when the subject of the sentence is a plural "Students"? Thus a2? The underlying concept is: there are 100 students but we all know that each one of them has only one mother regardless she is present or not today.

Q2:
Is it grammatically correct to use "A student" as the subject of the sentence even though there are 100 of them? Thus c2? Again the underlying concept here is: there are 100 students but we are instructing each one of them, not as a whole, what to do today by a piece of paper.

Q3:
Or the answers to above two questions are "No", and we have to write the sentence with its subject "Students" in a plural form and "mothers" in a plural form to coincide with the subject "Students"? Thus b2?

I really appreciate your time and efforts for this question.

J
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more