require or requires?


I use both require and requires in the sentence below and they both come up correct. How can that be?

See example:

Preserving and growing wealth across generations require planning, unbiased advice and highly disciplined investing.
asked Mar 25 '13 at 18:26 Augustine Hong New member

2 answers


I can only make a guess. It may be reading the subject as 'preserving and growing', both gerunds, which would use 'require'. Then, it may also see 'wealth' as a singular subject with  'preserving and growing' as participles, which would use 'requires'. Looking at the sentence, I'm confused as to which it should be. I could even make the argument that 'preserving and growing wealth' is a single action. I would actually go with this and use 'requires', the singular verb form. It just sounds better to me. Maybe someone else will join in with a more academic analysis.


Preserving and growing wealth across generations requires planning, unbiased advice, and highly disciplined investing.

link answered Mar 25 '13 at 20:53 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

I might put commas round "across generations" if I wanted to show that those words applied to both the preserving and the growing of wealth.

Preserving and growing wealth, across generations, requires planning, unbiased advice, and highly disciplined investing.

Simon JonesMar 28 '13 at 11:42

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I pesonally incline toward using 'require' because 'preserving wealth' and 'growing wealth' ARE not the same things. I don't see how the subject here could also be viewed as having a head noun 'wealth' with two participles as adjectives. We have two different actions here, so 'require' would make more sense, in my opinion. For those who see this as a single action 'requires' sounds good too.

link comment answered Mar 26 '13 at 14:26 Dsamburskiy New member

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