Subject Verb Agreement - Exceptions

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Should we use "see" or "sees" in the following sentence:

 

If a child see an advertisement, he might be greatly influenced by its contents.

asked Jan 31 at 13:15 Low Hon Chau New member

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Here's an example of the subjunctive: "If a child were to see an advertisement, he might be greatly influenced..." But I can't think of any other exceptions. 

link answered Jan 31 at 20:41 Twila New member

This sentence would not work in the subjunctive mood, because a child's seeing an ad would not be contrary to fact.

Lewis NeidhardtJan 31 at 20:47

This sentence would not work in the subjunctive mood, because a child's seeing an ad would not be contrary to fact.

Lewis NeidhardtJan 31 at 20:47

How about: if a child were to see a purple cow, he might think all cows are purple.

Patty TFeb 01 at 02:56

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'Sees' is the correct verb to agree with the subject 'child'.  The exception to having the verb and subject agree is the subjunction mood, but that is not applicable to this sentence.  Read about the subjunctive mood and how it is used.

link answered Jan 31 at 14:07 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

I agree, the child being exposed to an advertisement is not hypothetical - it is probably a question of timing. In which case, the sentence should be: "When a child sees an advertisement he might be greatly influenced by its contents".

Low Hon ChauFeb 01 at 02:12

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