When I was skimming through one of the websites, I noticed the usage of "Each of followed by a plural subject is followed by a singular verb, and in another example, it is followed by a plural verb. Which is correct?
Each of + plural subject +Singular verb/plural verb
The position of each can be at the front, middle, or at the end of a sentence. For example:
- Each of these shirts are only $20.(Plural verb)
- These shirts are only $20 each.
- These shirts each cost $20. (This structure is slightly more unusual.)
Each of... is used for a selection of individual items. For example:
- Each of these books is interesting. (Singular verb) - Each of the top five employees will receive a bonus. - We've won each of our last four games.
Sanjay, the website you found may not be correct.
First, let's clarify our terms. There are two different "subjects" at play here, and your website's use of the term may have confused matters further. As you know, the verb used in an independent clause must agree in number with the subject of the clause. Look at the following simple sentence.
Each is interesting. Each is the subject and is singular. Is is the verb and is also singular. We have agreement.
Now, let's add a prepostional adjective phrase that modifies the sentence subject -- of the books. This prepositional phrase has a plural object -- books -- not a subject. Problems arise because the object of the phrase often seems like it is the logical subject of the sentence, but it is not. The subject remains each -- which is always singular, even though the modifying phrase may contain a plural.
So when you see a sentence with a each of the blah blah blah phrase as the sentence subject, the verb is always singular, never plural.
In your samples above -- Each of these shirts are only $20 -- is incorrect. It should be --> Each of these shirts is only $20.
|link||answered Jul 31 '12 at 14:42 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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