GrammarPhile Blog

More Questions for Our Grammar Experts

Posted by Conni Eversull   Jul 24, 2014 6:30:00 AM

TeacherHere are some more questions we've received from readers who are unsure about something they're writing. See their questions and test yourself against our experts.

After you've completed your answers, please click the link at the bottom of the post to see our Grammar Experts' answers.


Question #1 - Singular or Plural

Which is correct:  The group of boys plays football or the group of boys play football?

What do you think?


Question #2 - Is the teaching assistant correct?

The following sentence: "The nine categories are equally weighted, each representing, therefore, 11.1% of the city’s overall green score." was criticized for being grammatically-incorrect; the TA writing: "Only grammar issue is check your noun/verb agreement: 'each....respresents.'" I believe that the subject sentence structure is perfectly fine and the TAs criticism entirely without merit (though a semi-colon before the word "each" might have been a better choice). What do you think?

So, is the teaching assistant correct? 


Question #3 -  Forming Possessives of Proper Names

When a name ends in "s" such as Charles, to make the possessive, do you just use an apostrophe (Charles) or do you use apostrophe s (Charles's)?

How would you write the possessive?


Question #4 - Singular or Plural (again)

When using the word 'number' as in "a small number of samples" is the noun singular (number) or plural (samples)? Which is correct? A small number of samples [is or are] needed. Thank you!

What's the correct form? Singular or plural?


Question #5 - Who or Whom?

Which is correct: "Who do these changes and actions need to be communicated to?" or "To whom do these changes and actions need to be communicated?"

So, which is correct?


Question #6 - Have or Has?

Here's one I'm struggling with. Do you treat names of companies with the word "associates" as singular or plural?

  • Doe and Associates has been in business since 2003.


  • Doe and Associates have been in business since 2003.

I prefer the first one, and I think it makes sense as the company is "one company."  But I have a client arguing with me.

How would you handle this?



Click here to see all of the answers to this week's questions.


Topics: possessives, plural or singular verb, writing

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