Monday, February 08, 2010

Is or Are?

‘Is’ and ‘are’ confusion

COULD you please tell me which of these sentences are correct?

1a. There is an apple and a mango on the table.

b. There are an apple and a mango on the table.

2a. The meeting lasted two hours.

b. The meeting last for two hours.

3a. Alice is good at Mathematics.

b. Alice is good in Mathematics.

c. Alice is good at / in cooking.

– Ho Lee Tyng

1. THE correct sentence is (a) “There is an apple and a mango on the table.” The “be” verb after “There” in this sort of structure agrees with the first noun, when there is a list of nouns mentioned. Since the first noun “apple” is singular, “is” is used after “There”.

If the first noun is plural, like “apples”, for instance, the plural verb “are” is used:

“There are several apples and a mango on the table.” BUT

“There is a mango and several apples on the table.”

2. The correct sentence is (a) “The meeting lasted two hours.” We can also say “The meeting lasted for two hours.”

Sentence (b) is incorrect because the singular subject “meeting” does not agree with the plural verb “last”; and also because the sentence ought to be in the past tense, since you won’t know how long a meeting is going to last until it is over.

3. Sentence (a) “Alice is good at Mathematics.” is correct. When we use “good” to mean “skilful”, it should be followed by at”.

So, sentence (c) should use at as well: “Alice is good at cooking.”, but you can also say “Alice cooks well.” or “Alice is a good cook.”

source: mind our english - the star

1 comment:

xlanxdiablox said...

ooooo.. now i know.. thanx!

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