Is this sentence grammatical?

MSJ is one of the few schools that places great emphasis on both subjects.

(is the usage of the word "places" grammatically correct)


Come on guys, I am getting mix messages here.

7 Answers

  • Tom L
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, it is not. Those who say it is correct do not know how to parse a sentence. What it comes down to is determining what is modified by the relative clause - the part from 'that' on. In this construction, it modifies 'schools', so the relative pronoun 'that' is plural and the clause requires a plural verb - place.

    Breaking the sentence into two simple sentences instead of a complex sentence with a relative clause shows this.

    Few schools place great emphasis on both subjects.

    MSJ is one of the few.

    How would you write it to have the clause modify MSJ and still make sense?

    MSJ, which places great emphasis on both subjects, is one of the few.

    That is a grammatically correct sentence and might even be used in a conversation. But notice the clause is set off by commas whereas your sentence (correctly) had no commas. Essential clause have no commas; nonessential do.The clause modifying MSJ is nonessential, so it is set off by commas. It is nonessential because there is only one MSJ - the clause just provides extra information and is not essential to determine what MSJ is, so you use commas.

    Moving back to the original sentence, there is no comma because the clause is essential. 'Few schools' could be any combination of two or more schools. What is essential to define those 'few schools'? It's the clause. Since it is essential, it is not set off by commas.

    That's a pretty long-winded explanation. I don't mean to be boring, but when that many post erroneous answers a more detailed reply seems in order.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. In this case, the subject of the verb is 'the few schools'. Since that's plural, the plural form of the verb is the one to use.

    There are a few schools that place great emphasis on both subjects. MSJ is one of those schools. MSJ is one of the few schools that place great emphasis on both subjects.

  • 1 decade ago

    Haha, can't believe how many people said "yes."

    No, MSJ is plural because it is one of the FEW.

    MSJ is one of the few schools that place great emphasis on both subjects.

  • Dan H
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago


    I have changed my mind: no. "That" refers to the schools, and the the schools "place" the emphasis, not places. The schools are doing the placing, not the "one" and MSJ is one among them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes, it's correct. the subject here is one (which refers to MSJ). "of the few schools" is a prepositional phrase, which is NOT part of the subject. therefore, "one" is singular and the correct verb would be "places" (as opposed to place).

  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds good to me!

  • 1 decade ago

    Seems fine to me.

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