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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Criminal Sentence 274: Agreement Problems

Two sentences from an online article:

1) "Their secret: thin crust, half the cheese, and extra vegetables."
2) "The restaurant boasts about their perfect-sized lunch combos as if super-sized individual pizzas and high-calorie 'side' salads are a good thing."

Both of these sentences suffer from the same problem: the number of items don't match.

Sentence 1: "their secret" is singular, whereas what comes after the verb is plural (three things are listed).
Sentence 2: "a good thing" is singular, whereas what comes before the verb is plural.

Both nouns (secret/thing) should be plural to match the other side of the equation.


Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree with the first...the combination of the three things is the secret. I find the use of pronoun their with the restaurant more grating!

Anonymous said...

The second sentence is also correct.

In this context "a good thing" means a fact, situation, circumstance, or state of affairs. It has to be written with "thing" singular.

Sunny days are one good thing about Florida.

If you made "thing" plural, it would be wrong.

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