Tolkien Gateway

Letter 218

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| #=218
 
| #=218
 
| to=Eric Rogers
 
| to=Eric Rogers
| date=[[1959#October|October 9]], [[1959]]
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| date=[[9 October]] [[1959]]
 
| subject=English language
 
| subject=English language
 
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A Mr. Eric Rogers had sent a letter to "any Professor of English Language". He inquired about the use of the verb in a passive sentence: Is it "A number of office walls ''has'' been damaged", or "''have'' been damaged"?  
 
A Mr. Eric Rogers had sent a letter to "any Professor of English Language". He inquired about the use of the verb in a passive sentence: Is it "A number of office walls ''has'' been damaged", or "''have'' been damaged"?  
  
Tolkien, now retired, states Mr. Rogers could do as he liked; both are correct. Since "number"  is singular, the verb could be singular. But since "walls" is plural, the verb could be plural.  
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Tolkien, now retired, stated Mr. Rogers could do as he liked; both are correct. Since "number"  is singular, the verb could be singular. But since "walls" is plural, the verb could be plural.  
  
 
{{letters}}
 
{{letters}}

Latest revision as of 00:39, 22 June 2011

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 218
RecipientEric Rogers
Date9 October 1959
Subject(s)English language

Letter 218 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

A Mr. Eric Rogers had sent a letter to "any Professor of English Language". He inquired about the use of the verb in a passive sentence: Is it "A number of office walls has been damaged", or "have been damaged"?

Tolkien, now retired, stated Mr. Rogers could do as he liked; both are correct. Since "number" is singular, the verb could be singular. But since "walls" is plural, the verb could be plural.