Let’s try not to be disagreeable

This is not a post about immigration — grammarians have no power over politics. It is a post about some of the more complicated aspects of subject-verb agreement, and it’s something I hope everyone can agree on. The basics: Subjects and verbs must agree, that is, singular subjects get singular verbs, and plural subjects get…

None of the above

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on Feb. 3, 2011. People have asked whether “none” is a singular or plural, and occasionally we’ve had readers write in to complain that we’ve used it wrong. The good news is that “none” can be both singular and plural. The bad news is that the distinction can get a…

What is an appositive, anyway?

Originally posted on Grammar Monkeys on Dec. 13, 2010. So we’ve done participles and gerunds, and because @glamAtude asked whether we could talk about appositives, here we go: An appositive is a word or phrase that follows a noun and gives more information about it. It can be a single noun: Her new puppy, Paperboy,…

One of those people

Originally published on Grammar Monkeys on Nov. 22, 2010. Are you one of those people who cringe — or is it “cringes”? — at misused apostrophes? Or is your favorite desk dinner one of those microwave meals that stinks — or is it “stink”? — up the whole office? Sentences with “one of those” can…