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Are these correct? If not, why? What is the subject and verb for these?
1. More cars means more traffic. (Is 'means' not 'mean' because 'more cars' is one idea?)

Or should it be:
2. More cars mean more traffic.

If #1 and #2 are correct, what do they mean?

What about these ones?
3. When they are more cars, it means more traffic.
4. When they are more cars, that mean more traffic.
5. When they are more cars, this mean more traffic.
6. When they are more cars, it mean more traffic.

7. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters and that means more moveable parts which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely. (Are 'means', 'means', and 'translates' correct here? If they are, how? I'm okay with the other ones but what about 'translates' How do we look at the subject for that?)

Thanks.
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Comments  
Hello!
I'd say 1 and 2 are correct, because it's the whole idea of there being more cars that is the subject, hence a singular.
4,5, and 6 are not correct because the verb is in the plural with a subject in the singular.
And I wouldn't say any of the "when" sentences, I'd say instead: "when there are more cars, there is more traffic"
As to n° 7, I'm sorry I can't help you much... "translates to" doesn't look good...I'd say:
"hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, this means more platters and more moveable parts, which in turn increases the odds for them to break down more easily"
?
What about these ones?
3. When they are more cars, it means more traffic.
4. When they are more cars, that mean more traffic.
5. When they are more cars, this mean more traffic.
6. When they are more cars, it mean more traffic.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

# 3 to # 6 are completely ungrammatical. "they" is an inappropriate subject. My guess is, though I could be wrong, that you were looking for the empty subject form 'there'.
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Quite right, JTT, I had read "there" because it should have been there!
Are these correct? If not, why? What is the subject and verb for these?
1. More cars means more traffic. (Is 'means' not 'mean' because 'more cars' is one idea?)

Or should it be:
2. More cars mean more traffic.


In standard english, 2 is correct. The subject is [more cars] and the verb is [mean]. You can show this by replacing "more" with other words or removing it altogether:

2a. Cars mean more traffic.
2b. Two cars mean more traffic.
2c. Many cars mean more traffic.
What about these ones?
3. When the[re] are more cars, it means more traffic.
4. When the[re] are more cars, that mean more traffic.
5. When the[re] are more cars, this mean more traffic.
6. When the[re] are more cars, it mean more traffic.


I assume that you mean "there" not they. Only 3 is correct. Here you have two clauses joined together:

[When there are more cars]1 [it(X) means(X) more traffic]2

The two X represents what the verb "mean" agrees with. 1 & 2 represents the clauses. In this case it agrees with "it"Emotion: smile You can also say although a little strange:

3a. When there are more cars, they mean more traffic.

The form that the verb "mean" takes depends on the subject of your second clause.
Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters and that means more moveable parts which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely. (Are 'means', 'means', and 'translates' correct here? If they are, how? I'm okay with the other ones but what about 'translates' How do we look at the subject for that?)


The constuction is correct except for the bits in bold:

Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters and that means more moveable parts which translates to the chances of it breaking down being more likely.

It certainly is a complicated sentence but let's break it down step-by-step:

Clause 1: [Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays]
Clause 2: [that means more platters]
Clause 3: [that means more moveable parts]
Clause 4: [which translates to the chances of [it breaking down being more likely]]

There are four clauses, so there are four subhects in each clause, I will highlight them in bold. Here's the complicated bit:

The subject of clause 2, "that" refers to the entire clause 1.

The subject of clause 3, "that" refers to the entire clause 2. (It could also refer to clause 1, clause 2 or both, but I would assume that having more moveable parts is a result of more platters)

The subject of clause 4, "which" refers to the entire clause 3. The construction of clause 4 is a little more complicated, but I don't think it's relevant to the question that you are asking.

eq
equivocal, thanks for the detailed explanation.

1. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, this means more platters... (How come you changed 'that' to 'this' ?Is 'this' better here? If so, why?)
2. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters... ('that' is not appropriate here? I'm referring back, so isn't it okay?)
Clause 1: [Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays]
Clause 2: [that means more platters]
Clause 3: [that means more moveable parts]
Clause 4: [which translates to the chances of [it breaking down being more likely]]

The subject of clause 4, "which" refers to the entire clause 3. The construction of clause 4 is a little more complicated, but I don't think it's relevant to the question that you are asking.

3. The subject of clause 4 refers to the entire cluase 3? Can it also be clause 1,2, and 3? Or Just clause one, two, or three? Or only clause 3?, if so, why? If it can be referred to other clause(s), how does the reader know what you're talking about?
The form that the verb "mean" takes depends on the subject of your second clause.

I don't understand the bold part:
4. The form that the verb "mean" takes depends on the subject of your second clause. (Or did you mean this: takes/depends ?)

Thanks.
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1. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, this means more platters... (How come you changed 'that' to 'this' ?Is 'this' better here? If so, why?)
2. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters... ('that' is not appropriate here? I'm referring back, so isn't it okay?)


Did I? I just copied from your original post. I think both 'this' and 'that' are fine.
3. The subject of clause 4 refers to the entire cluase 3? Can it also be clause 1,2, and 3? Or Just clause one, two, or three? Or only clause 3?, if so, why? If it can be referred to other clause(s), how does the reader know what you're talking about?


Heh... they are all right. It could be 1,2 and 3 or just clause 3. But you said the entire bit, it wouldn't matter because each condition is "stacked" upon each other. If 3 refers to 2 then Clause 3 will actually mean:

more platters means more moving parts
^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
this bit is from clause 2 + clause 3

So if clause 4 refers back to clause 3, it will just plug-in the above and all will be fine.
I don't understand the bold part:
4. The form that the verb "mean" takes depends on the subject of your second clause. (Or did you mean this: takes/depends ?)


The form of the verb 'mean' relies on the subject of the clause, so:

When there are more cars, X means more traffic.

The verb will follow what X is. If X is singular then 'means', if plural then 'mean'.
Heh... they are all right. It could be 1,2 and 3 or just clause 3. But you said the entire bit, it wouldn't matter because each condition is "stacked" upon each other. If 3 refers to 2 then Clause 3 will actually mean:


more platters means more moving parts

What you wrote above is not standard english? As you said before, it should be 'more platters mean more moving parts' right? 'means' should be 'mean' ?

Text 1:
I'm not sure if you're following me but this is what I'm trying to ask you. For the below paragraph there are clauses as you have told me. Is that why you can use 'means' for the paragraph below? 'Means' is not 'mean'? But for sentences like this: More cars mean more traffice.' The subject and verb should agree because there are no clauses?)

1. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters and that means more moveable parts which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely. (Are 'means', 'means', and 'translates' correct here? If they are, how? I'm okay with the other ones but what about 'translates' How do we look at the subject for that?)

2. All hard drives consist of two or more platters which creates heat. (Is 'creates' correct here? What is the subject and verb for 'creates'? Is 'which' referring to 'hard drives' or 'platters' How do I now? If it is referring to 'platters' should 'creates' be 'create' then? If not, why?

3. It just tends to encourage more people to use cars, which means more traffic.
If the sentence was like this:
4. More cars mean more traffic. (This is what I'm trying to say in 'Text 1' 'Mean' is plural in #4 but singular in #3. How come they are not the same? If I convert #4 to be like #3, shouldn't 'mean' be 'mean' in #3 as well? Or it can't? Because #3 has a clause?)

Thanks.
What you wrote above is not standard english? As you said before, it should be 'more platters mean more moving parts' right? 'means' should be 'mean' ?


Indeed, I just cut and pasted. It should be 'mean'.
But for sentences like this: More cars mean more traffice.' The subject and verb should agree because there are no clauses?)


Think of clauses as cute little units which can function on their own. The show agreement within themselves. Usually. Emotion: stick out tongue
1. Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, that means more platters and that means more moveable parts which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely. (Are 'means', 'means', and 'translates' correct here? If they are, how? I'm okay with the other ones but what about 'translates' How do we look at the subject for that?)


'which' is the subject of [which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely]. It's not always easy to identify the subject, but a usually good way is to look and see what does the "translating". In this clause the only thing is the word "which". You can have a construction like:

[The fact that hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays, having more platters and more moveable parts] translates to the chances of it breaking down being more likely.

Here the entire bit in brackets is the subject of 'translate'.
2. All hard drives consist of two or more platters which creates heat. (Is 'creates' correct here? What is the subject and verb for 'creates'? Is 'which' referring to 'hard drives' or 'platters' How do I now? If it is referring to 'platters' should 'creates' be 'create' then? If not, why?


1. Good question. You're right again, 'create' is right. The construction is different here. [two or more platters which create heat] is known as a relative clause. A non-technical way I can think of using to tell them apart would be to insert full stops:

Hard drives are becoming larger and larger nowadays. That means more platters and that means more moveable parts. Which translates to the chances of it breaking down to be more likely.

This on the other hand sounds rather odd:

2a. ??All hard drives consist of two or more platters. Which create heat.

You certainly can argue with me on this but this is the only non-technical explanation I can offer. The sentence in question has something roughly like the following stucture:

2b. [All hard drives]-SUBJ consist-V [of two or more platters which create heat]-OBJ
3. It just tends to encourage more people to use cars, which means more traffic.
If the sentence was like this:

4. More cars mean more traffic. (This is what I'm trying to say in 'Text 1' 'Mean' is plural in #4 but singular in #3. How come they are not the same? If I convert #4 to be like #3, shouldn't 'mean' be 'mean' in #3 as well? Or it can't? Because #3 has a clause?)


You should take up linguisticsEmotion: smile The difference in 3 and 4 is the presence of 'which'. Along with words like 'that' and 'who' (as in "the boy who won the 100m sprint" and not "Who won the race") and some others, 'which' is know as a complementizer.

This is an area of great contention, but one of the views on it is that complementizers like 'which' and 'that' kind of work like "the fact that". So,

3a. [The fact that it just tends to encourage more people to use cars] means more traffic.

Keep thinking, there are alot more strange things going on here. Ask away, although some questions I cannot answer because I don't know.Emotion: smile

eq
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