Posted by R. Berg on August 20, 2003
In Reply to: And/or posted by Anders on August 20, 2003
: : : : Hello Bruce
: : : : You're missing the point. GPP is responding to my original query: What to use after 'and/or', an expression which confuses concord.
: : : : Anders
: : : : PS: many thanks for your helpful remarks, guys!
: : : : : : : : I am proofreading a sentence that reads "A change in the speed and/or a change in the load generate a dynamic situation." To me it sounds odd; I would prefer 'generates'. I suspect the perfect solution would be 'generate/s', but this is too weird, and 'generates or generate' is silly. I hesitate to recast the sentence. Can you support my feeling that 'generates' is preferable to 'generate'?
: : : : : : : : Thanks
: : : : : : : : Anders
: : : : : : : And/or is an awkward construction and it is difficult to phrase elegantly.
: : : : : : : "A change in the speed or load, separately or together, generates a dynamic situation."
: : : : : : Grammatically awkward, perhaps, but I think not in terms of its being understood or widely used. I would always use the singular. Perhaps that's because the 'or' is probably the more inclusive term, while the 'and' really means you're hedging your bet.
: : : : : "Change" is the subject of the sentence and is singular. Singulars require a singular verb--"generates".
: : : : : If the subject were "changes", which is plural, then the predicate would have to be plural--"generate".
: : : Actually, I think Bruce was not really 'missing the point', but simply responding to the wrong post by mistake. Given that, his analysis is correct.
: : An experienced editor and proofreader here. The singular verb is correct. Alternatively, add "will" before "generate."
: Add 'will' - yes, why didn't I think of that! Thank you Mr Berg.
: Best regards
It's Ms. Berg, and you're welcome.