Using Verbs part 1

Before I get going with the verbs, I am puzzled. This, I suppose is a throwback to previously when I did nouns. I also mentioned it in that treatise, too, but it’s beginning to bug me.

So many pieces of writing I see nowadays, that mention our beautiful planet, fail to give it a capital letter. Why? It’s name is a PROPER noun. Proper nouns begin with a CAPITAL LETTER.

I haven’t noticed people writing Mars, Venus, Jupiter, the Asteroids, etc, and not capitalising the first letter, so why don’t people, and people who should know better, too, not treat our own home in the same way?

Writers and other supposedly educated people do it. One writer I read recently (who claimed an editor in the acknowledgements) occasionally used a capital, and sometimes didn’t. (What was the editor doing?)

It’s Earth, folks, if you’re talking about the planet, and earth if you’re talking about the ground or soil.

OK, that’s done, so let’s begin on the problem of verbs.

I propose to do 2 posts on this as there are 2 main problems people have.

 Every verb has to agree with its subject. Yes, you know that. I know you know that. But why can’t people get it every time.

The worst is ‘there’s. This is short for ‘there is’, so we cannot say ‘There’s three of them.’ Yet I hear it all the time, and even see it in writing.

 Then there’s another one I mentioned in the last post. Agreement with a collective noun. Collective nouns are SINGULAR.

How many governments does a country have? One? Yes, only one, and so it’s singular. To say ‘the Government are planning to look into this problem.’ is WRONG.

The same goes for ‘team’, ‘herd’, ‘flock’, ‘peloton’ (if you’re a cyclist) All singular. ‘The team are..’? wrong. ‘The flock are…’? wrong.

 Finally, some people make the verb agree with something that’s not actually its subject.

e.g. One of the girls ARE going to come with us.


Here, the verb is referring to ‘one’ and not ‘girls’, so it should be:

One of the girls IS going to come with us.

I’m sure you can think of many more examples.

I know I’m not as brilliant at doing these grammar posts as some others, but I hope to be able to help a few people.

It also helps me get things that annoy me off my chest!
If you think this will help others, please feel free to reblog and I would be grateful for any link back to my site.

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