Making Nouns Agree

If you scan the Table of Contents or index of a typical English grammar book, you’ll come across this phrase: Making nouns agree in number and case.

What does that mean, and how do you do it? Here’s a handy example I came across today in an article about blogging:

Feed readers work in a similar way. Open it up, and all of the blogs you subscribe to will show up, with the latest content at the top, usually with just the headline and maybe the first few lines of the blog post displaying.  INCORRECT

The first sentence is about feed readers – more than one – but the next sentence begins with “Open it up”–one thing.

Here’s how I would fix it:

A feed reader works in a similar way. Open it up, and all of the blogs you subscribe to….  CORRECT

That was easy!

Today’s Quiz  ANSWER

Today’s sentence is incorrect. Use whose (not who’s) for “of” ideas. (Who’s means who is. Think of that apostrophe as a little “i.”)

Here’s the corrected sentence:

I can’t wait to hear whose essay won first prize.  CORRECT

 

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