BOTH BROTHERS = A YOUNG ADULT??

Here is another "sermon" on agreement, which is an important part of good writing. In a recent article in The Birmingham News, I came across this sentence:

As a young adult, both brothers found their way back and ended up staying.

Whoops! #1:A YOUNG ADULT can only refer to one person. BOTH BROTHERS refers to two people. Therefore, A YOUNG ADULT (singular) needs to be changed to YOUNG ADULTS (plural). The sentence should read this way:

As young adults, both brothers found their way back and ended up staying.

The same issue of the newspaper contained this sentence, which also has an agreement problem:

Bob Smith Construction Co. of Trussville, with engineers from Blount County, are working to get the bridge fully restored and open to traffic.

Whoops! #2: The subject of this sentence is BOB SMITH CONSTRUCTION CO. (singular). The inserted phrase between the commas, WITH ENGINEERS FROM BLOUNT COUNTY, is not part of the subject. Therefore, the use of the plural verb ARE is incorrect.  The sentence should read this way:

Bob Smith Construction Co. of Trussville, with engineers from Blount County, is working to get the bridge fully restored and open to traffic.

And then there was this sentence:

As the state continues to close psychiatric hospitals–10 have been shuttered in the past 15 years–and moves toward community-based care, these kind of broadly-trained psyciatric nurse practitioners are greatly needed.

 

The word THESE is plural and cannot be used with the singular word KIND. The writer must use either THESE KINDS or THIS KIND. In this sentence, the writer is referring to NURSE PRACTITIONERS, which is plural, so the choice should be THESE KINDS. The sentence should read this way:

As the state continues to close psychiatric hospitals–10 have been shuttered in the past 15 years–and moves toward community-based care, these kinds of broadly-trained psyciatric nurse practitioners are greatly needed.

 

 

 

 

 

Whoops! #3: The word THESE is plural. It cannot be used with the singular word KIND. A writer must use either THESE KINDS or THIS KIND. In this sentence, the writer is referring to NURSE PRACTIIONERS (plural), so the choice should be THESE KINDS. The sentence should read this way:

As the state continues to close psychiatric hospitals–10 have been shuttered in the past 15 years–and moves toward community-based care, these kinds of broadly-trained psyciatric nurse practioners are greatly needed.

 


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