1. D-Doc
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    D-Doc Active Member

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    A question about "is" versus "are".

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by D-Doc, Nov 14, 2011.

    In the sentence, "He believes her hatred for and disgust with him is baseless," I should use are instead of is right?

    He believes her hatred for and disgust with him are baseless. It sounds a lot better with is, but it doesn't make sense since there is more than one feeling. If I wrote it as, "He believes her views of hatred for and disgust with him are baseless," it sounds a lot better, but adding the extra words is unnecessary.
     
  2. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Yes, as stated you would use "are" because there are two things that are baseless: her hatred for him and her disgust with him.
     
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I think Bob is right you have to use ARE because hatred and disgust are listed as two.
    he believes her hatred and disgust for him ARE baseless.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as worded, yes, you have to use 'are'... but it's not a good sentence to begin with, so i'd strongly suggest rewording it entirely, to read better...
     
  5. D-Doc
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    D-Doc Active Member

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    I know it sounds a bit weird, but I have to make sure the prepositions fit the specific words "hate" and "anger" right?

    Does, "He believes she hates him and finds him disgusting for no reason," sound better?
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree. Grammatically it's "are", but it's an awkward sentence. The original questioner said "If I wrote it as, 'He believes her views of hatred for and disgust with him are baseless,' it sounds a lot better, but adding the extra words is unnecessary." I would argue that if they make it sound a lot better then they are not unnecessary! I think it's possible to do even better, but all of my solutions involve extra words too, so the "extra words" issue needs dealing with.
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. It's ambiguous whether it's his belief or her hatred and disgust that has no reason.

    My first shot at it would be "He believes her hatred for him and her disgust with him are baseless"

    My second shot would be "He believes her hatred and disgust are baseless", because I'd lay good odds the reader can tell from the context that he (the character, not the reader) is the object of the hatred and disgust.
     
  8. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    I'd go for:

    "He has no idea why he disgusts her to the point of hatred."


    Regarding the original question:

    "are".
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    hatred and disgust do not necessarily go hand in hand...
     
  10. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Agreed!

    From what I've seen of this forum so far, there seems to be a tendency toward extremely deep analysis of every word, phrase, construction, idea.......

    EXCELLENT!

    That's why I'm here. One starts off at the deep end of the pool, and stays there :).


    It's true that my suggested re-write of the OP's original sentence does connect "disgust" and "hatred", ie the disgust becomes the reason for the hatred. This is not stated in the original sentence. She could find him disgusting for one reason, and hate him for another (plurals possible here). But, in context, my suggestion might be okay.

    Also, my alternative could mean, out of context, that he is on purpose doing things to disgust her with the aim of making her hate him, but doesn't know why he is doing that.

    I heard someone say very recently on BBC Radio 4 that "Graham Greene wrote with a scalpel".


    That sentence is a gem!


    Here we have the autopsies after the scalpels have scraped the pages. I am extremely impressed with the no-nonsense, fair and well-intentioned replies which posters get to their questions.


    Another suggestion:


    "He has no idea why she finds him disgusting and hates him."


    Now I have a repeat of "him". The aim of my first suggestion was to avoid this repetition. It's difficult to avoid this repetition without connecting "hatred" and "disgust".


    "She hates me and thinks I'm disgusting! Why?"


    A change of format sometimes helps, perhaps? It depends on the context, of course. It would be useful to see the original sentence in context. But then we'd be moving away from the OP's original question.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    He believes that her feelings for him--the hatred, the disgust--are baseless.
     
  12. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    He's damned if he he knows why the hell she finds him disgusting and hates him so bloody much!

    :)
     
  13. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    "For God's sake! I wash my socks! I scrub between my toes when I'm in the shower! What's her problem? I've had enough. Let her hate me!"
     
  14. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    "For God's sake! I wash my socks! I scrub between my toes when I'm in the shower! What's her problem? I've had enough. Let her hate me!"


    Forgot....


    "She has no reason!
     
  15. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Jeremy looked up at the clock. Then down at the axe. He picked it up.

    "This one's because I'm disgusting."

    One o'clock.

    "And this is for the hatred."

    The chimes end as his knees thud on the floor.

    "Why? I really don't know. Why?"



    We could go on, but I'm new here:).
     

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