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is or are? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 8:45:52 PM
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He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases are particularly driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories and “are not new cases of infections”.

Should it be "is" instead?

Thanks.
tautophile
Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 10:43:03 PM
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In my opinion, no. The phrase "...and 'are not new cases of infections'" refers to the number (plural) of cases, so "are" is preferable.
sureshot
Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 11:38:33 PM
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Koh Elaine wrote:
He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases are particularly driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories and “are not new cases of infections”.

Should it be "is" instead?

Thanks.



The subject of the sentences is "the surging number". It takes a singular verb. The problem has arises because of the last part of the sentence which has been joined by the coordinating conjunction "and". The verb "are" after the coordinating conjunction "and" does not have a clearly defined subject and this is leading to a subject verb agreement problem. It can be resolved by replacing "and" with the subordinating conjunction "which". It makes the last part function as a subordinating clause with the plural subject "cases".

- He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases is particularly driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories which are not new cases of infections. (= and these are are not new cases of infections).
Islami
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 12:22:19 AM
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He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases particularly is driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories and “are not new cases of infections".

But I, somehow, feel that the statement is illogical.

Why and how these are not new cases of infection?




sureshot
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 9:00:29 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,741
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The subject of the sentences is "the surging number". It takes a singular verb. The problem has arises because of the last part of the sentence which has been joined by the coordinating conjunction "and". The verb "are" after the coordinating conjunction "and" does not have a clearly defined subject and this is leading to a subject verb agreement problem. It can be resolved by replacing "and" with the subordinating conjunction "which". It makes the last part function as a subordinating clause with the plural subject "cases".

- He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases is particularly driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories which are not new cases of infections. (= and these are are not new cases of infections).

_____________________

I find that the sentence can also be improved by using the plural form "numbers".

Lexico Oxford Dictionary (https://www.lexico.com/definition/number) explains the use of "numbers" as:

numbers: A large quantity or amount, often in contrast to a smaller one; numerical preponderance.

The example sentences show that it is possible to use the plural form "numbers" in this sense.

In this sense, "number" is a countable noun especially when the figure is significantly different on each subsequent day. "Numbers" conveys the sense of "figures".
FounDit
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 9:38:03 AM

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Islami wrote:
He also stressed that the surging number of COVID-19 cases particularly is driven by cases at migrant workers’ dormitories and “are not new cases of infections".

But I, somehow, feel that the statement is illogical.

Why and how these are not new cases of infection?

If the migrant workers are not newly infected, but are already infected, and have simply just been discovered, then they would not be new. They would just be added to the already infected number.


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