Common Stumbling Blocks - Peculiar Constructions - Misused Forms.
Very often the verb is separated from its real nominative or subject by
several intervening words and in such cases one is liable to make the
verb agree with the subject nearest to it. Here are a few examples
showing that the leading writers now and then take a tumble into this
(1) "The partition which the two ministers made of the powers of
government were singularly happy."--Macaulay.
(Should be was to agree with its subject, partition.)
(2) "One at least of the qualities which fit it for training ordinary men
unfit it for training an extraordinary man."--Bagehot.
(Should be unfits to agree with subject one.)
(3) "The Tibetans have engaged to exclude from their country those
dangerous influences whose appearance were the chief cause of our
(Should be was to agree with appearance.)
(4) "An immense amount of confusion and indifference prevail in these
(Should be prevails to agree with amount.)
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