Anonymous asked in 社會與文化語言 · 1 decade ago

Grammatical Question - pls

Still, I have a question about the lines extracted from the flick "Elizabeth."

Elizabeth says,

"My people are my only concern.

Yes, my only concern is my people."

Is there any grammar usage that can define this sentence? I know they two mean the same thing. What I really don't get is : in the first sentence, the object does not match with the plural be-V. I know concern is a singular abstract N, but can anyone tell me what kind of grammar it is categorized?

Or it is just because people use it in the colloguial way?

I need to know it in grammar type. And pls give examples.

It's better to be more detailed.


Btw, if you are interested in western culture, maybe you can go check my another question:

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In English, there is only subject-verb agreement.  Object-verb agreement does not exist in this language.  Let's check your sentences in question:(1) [ My people ]plural subject [ are ]plural verb my only concern. (2) Yes, [ my only concern ]singular subject [ is ]singular verb my people.In sentence (1), the plural noun my people serves as the subject of the plural verb are, so subject-verb agreement is respected and the sentence is grammatical.  The same applies to sentence (2), in which the subject is the singular noun concern and it agrees with the singular verb is.In some cases, the word order of a sentence is scrambled, as the sentence below shows:(3) Under the tree lie two wild dogs.Although the noun tree is placed ahead of the verb, but in fact the sentence is scrambled from(4) [ Two wild dogs ]plural subject [ lie ]plural verb under the tree.In sentence (4), the subject is the plural noun dogs, which agree with the plural verb lie.  Thus, the subject-verb agreement is still respected in this sentence.Subject-verb agreement is an inherent property in the English langauge that must be strictly observed.  Such syntactical restriction overwhelms semantical requirements.  Other similar examples abound:(5) The Chinese people are an industrious race. Such subject-verb agreement in English is purely a grammatical matter and has nothing to do woth either written or colloquial forms.  As a matter of fact, such agreement restriction is required in both written and colloquial expressions.回答者:落日騎士。作者:落日騎士。ⓒ2005-引用前請先知會本人,並請加註此段訊息

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it is colloquial.

    Keep in mind that not all native speakers of the English language speak grammatically-correct English.

    "My people" here is treated as a WHOLE, therefore, it is grammatically correct in both cases. However, because the word "people" is a plural noun, it creates contradiction -- violation of the "verb-noun agreement" rule.

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