Addled Examples of Poor Agreement

Today's Grammar Glitches appear in recent issues of The Birmingham News. Both involve poor choices of subject and verb agreement with regard to what is singular and what is plural. Here is the first example:

 

Thus far, the state's efforts to boost its trained workforce has focused primarily on dual enrollment between public high schools and the the community college system.

Whoops! #1: The subject of this sentence is EFFORTS (plural with an S). TO BOOST ITS TRAINED WORKFORCE is a prepositional phrase that should not affect the relationship between the subject EFFORTS and the verb, which should be HAVE (plural) FOCUSED. The sentence should read this way:

 

Thus far, the state's efforts to boost its trained workforce have focused primarily on dual enrollment between public high schools and the the community college system.

Here is the second example:

 

Attention and honor was pointed in the right direction.

Whoops #2: This sentence has a compound subject. One subject connected to another subject by AND creates a plural subject. Therefore, the verb should be WERE instead of WAS. Here is the correct sentence:

 

Attention and honor were pointed in the right direction.

 

My thanks to www.reputation.com for their February 17 publication of an interview that highlights the significance of Grammar Glitch Central as a useful tool for business writers. If you'd like to know more about the motivation behind Grammar Glitch Central and see some of my favorite Glitch examples, please visit http://www.reputation.com/reputationwatch/blog/expert-interview-ruth-cook-how-write-more-clearly

 


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