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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:03:05 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/2013
Posts: 207
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Which is the correct choice in each set?

Set 1

1. Either you or I is crazy.

2. Either you or I am crazy.

3. Either you or I are crazy.

Set 2

1. You, not I, are crazy.

2. You, not I, am crazy.

Set 3

1. Neither you nor I am crazy.

2. Neither you nor I are crazy.

Set 4

1. It is you that is crazy.

2. It is you that are crazy.

Thanks.
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:38:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
Neurons: 31,086
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
footer wrote:
Which is the correct choice in each set?

Set 1

1. Either you or I is crazy.

2. Either you or I am crazy.

3. Either you or I are crazy.

Set 2

1. You, not I, are crazy.

2. You, not I, am crazy.

Set 3

1. Neither you nor I am crazy.

2. Neither you nor I are crazy.

Set 4

1. It is you that is crazy.

2. It is you that are crazy.


These are some excellent conundrums. I'll share both how I hear them and how I think about them. Depending on context, one way might make more sense than the other.

In set 1, I strongly both hear and think that the correct version is "Either you or I am crazy." This follows the rule of closest subject agrees with the verb, yet I can think of a few reasons to not abide by that in this example.

In set 2, I am quite literally torn on the horns of a dilemma (or as they say in this neck of the woods, a dilemna. Whistle ) Yet because such an utterance would most likely arise informally, I lean slightly toward "You, not I, am crazy." I know that is not logical, and perhaps now you understand the difference between me and the Insufferable Pedant™ who would insist on "You, not I, are crazy."

In set 3, the same rule obtains as in set 1, and I would prefer "Neither you nor I am crazy."

For what ever reason, for set 4 I would intuitively write and say, "It is you who are crazy."

Those are my opinions, for what they are worth.
chuckc4th
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:00:17 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 179
Neurons: 537
Location: United States
Set 1, I am not sure there is a correct answer, because no verb agrees with both you or I.
I would say it as "Either you are, or I am, crazy" thus when you seperate it into the clauses, both stand alone: "You are crazy. I am crazy."
Set 2, I would choose answer 1 "You, not I, are crazy." = "You are crazy, not I."
Set 3, I would choose answer 2 "Neither you nor I are crazy." = "We are not crazy."
Set 4, I would choose answer 1 "It is you that is crazy." even though I cannot think of a reason that makes sense, it just sounds better to my ear.




chuckc4th
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:08:48 AM
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Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 179
Neurons: 537
Location: United States
So perhaps the correct answer for Set 1 is 1 "Either you or I is crazy." = "One of us is crazy", however the way it is in the answer grates on my ear for some unknown reason. I would say "One of us is crazy" or as I expanded before "Either you are, or I am, crazy."

Set 3 could even be taken a step farther "Neither you nor I are crazy." = "We are not crazy." = "We are both sane."
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:16:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
Neurons: 31,086
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
chuckc4th wrote:
Set 1, I am not sure there is a correct answer, because no verb agrees with both you or I.
I would say it as "Either you are, or I am, crazy" thus when you seperate it into the clauses, both stand alone: "You are crazy. I am crazy."

Doesn't that work the same way for set 3, or does it?

chuckc4th wrote:

Set 3, I would choose answer 2 "Neither you nor I are crazy." = "We are not crazy."


It is a puzzlement.
Think


chuckc4th
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:39:41 AM
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Joined: 5/26/2009
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Neurons: 537
Location: United States
"either - or" is different from "neither - nor" because either - or implies one or the other, singlar. Neither - nor means both not, plural.
chuckc4th
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:45:01 AM
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Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 179
Neurons: 537
Location: United States
The further reduction of Set 1 would be "Either you are, or I am, crazy." = "Either you are crazy, or I am crazy."

frosty rime
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:12:23 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 1,446
Neurons: 13,151
Visit this webpage. There are extensive examples for the rules.


http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/subjectVerbAgree.asp
footer
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 8:31:08 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/2013
Posts: 207
Neurons: 620
Thanks to all.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:35:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/2009
Posts: 1,928
Neurons: 6,180
I don't think there is a solution, commonly agreed to, for the situation of set 1 and 3. For set 2 I'd say solution 1. For set 4 solution 1 as well. The reason for that is that it is crazy, and it happens to be you. Like "It is you, who plies the trade."; you wouldn't say "It is you, who ply the trade."
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