MET workshop: grammar pathway minisession

Subject–verb agreement: overcoming the stumbling blocks

Facilitator: Tom O’Boyle

Whether to use a singular or plural verb in a range of structures is a dilemma English translators and editors often face. Are words like jury, government, and police singular or plural?  Should the verb following negative subject pronouns like no one or none be singular or plural? What about nouns combined with words like either and neither? The problem is complicated by the principles of grammatical agreement, notional agreement, and proximity.
This workshop addresses the area of subject–verb agreement and provides participants with a set of principles and procedures to make informed decisions when choosing between a singular and plural verb. We will examine the specific difficulties posed by complex sentences, collective nouns, coordinators, and measures of quantity.

About the facilitator: Tom O’Boyle is a freelance translator, author’s editor, and language facilitator based in Valdemoro, near Madrid. He is particularly interested in finding practical solutions to those areas of grammar that pose problems for professionals working with the written word. A self-confessed unabashed grammar geek, Tom also teaches MET’s workshop Practical tools for improving text flow: Focus on punctuation.