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Who is the victim? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 2:26:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,174
Neurons: 8,959
Who is the victim? (There is only one victim.)
Who are the victims? (There is more than one victim.)

I know #1 is correct, but is #2 also correct?

Thanks.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 3:12:58 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 602
Neurons: 121,029
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Yes, indeed, both are correct.
NKM
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:56:06 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Certainly, both are correct, and perfectly normal and natural.

Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 7:37:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,174
Neurons: 8,959
Thanks, Wilmar and NKM.

I'm puzzled. In one of the English forums, a member can find out "Who is online?' Why is 'is' used, not "are"? Most of the time there are several members online.

Please explain why this is so. Thanks.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 12:49:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2016
Posts: 1,170
Neurons: 65,371
Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
It is personal choice. You may say

Who is online or who are online.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
NKM
Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 3:17:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
"Who" is not explicitly singular or plural, so it just seems natural to ask "Who is …?" as the default form.

Of course, we do use the plural whenever there's an obvious reason to do so: "Who are those men?"

Koh Elaine
Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 9:19:01 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,174
Neurons: 8,959
NKM wrote:
"Who" is not explicitly singular or plural, so it just seems natural to ask "Who is …?" as the default form.

Of course, we do use the plural whenever there's an obvious reason to do so: "Who are those men?"


Thanks.
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