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Hi

Could you give your views on this sentence?


The set of propositions which was discussed by the panel have been published in the society journal.

A. which was discussed by the panel have been
B. which were discussed by the panel have been
C. that was discussed by the panel has been
D. which were discussed by the panel has been
E. which was discussed, by the panel, has been

I think the answer is B. But, I see that in some discussion forums opinions vary on the correct answer.

I go with B because, I am not able to make sense of "a set being discussed". I think it is more correct to consider propositions than set for the verb. Thus, in option B, "were" and "have been" agree with propositions.

In one forum it is given that only that is used in restrictive clauses. But, I think both which and that are used in restrictive clauses and use of commas tell us whether they are restrictive or non-restrictive.

Please give your views.

Suresh

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vsureshThe set of propositions which was discussed by the panel have has been published in the society journal.

If you check some possibilities like 'set of subjects' and 'set of characters' in the Google Ngram Viewer, you get only singular verbs. Those plurals after 'set of' which yield both singular and plural verbs have the singular verb in the majority. So the reasonable conclusion is that agreement is with 'set' and not with 'propositions' in the given sentence. (By the way, 'the list of propositions', 'the roster of propositions', and 'the catalog of propositions' all work the same way.)

The set of answers has ( Emotion: smile ) only two choices with two singular verbs, and the punctuation is bad in E, so the correct answer is C.

Both 'which' and 'that' are grammatical in restrictive relative clauses, so the substitution of 'that' for 'which' in answer C is not a problem.

CJ

Comments  

I got it. Thank you very much, CJ.

Suresh