Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today's English lesson

From the American Heritage Book of English Usage:

There's More Than One
Way to Look at This

Here’s a riddle: How can you have more than one and still have only one? The answer: When you are skinning a cat. When a noun phrase contains more than one and a singular noun, the verb is normally singular:
There is more than one way to skin a cat.
More than one editor is working on that project.
More than one field has been planted with oats.
When more than one is followed by of and a plural noun, the verb is plural:
More than one of the paintings were stolen.
More than one of the cottages are for sale.
When more than one stands alone, it usually takes a singular verb, but it may take a plural verb if the notion of multiplicity predominates:
The operating rooms are all in good order.
More than one is (or are) equipped with the latest imaging technology.

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