WordPlay

Good Grammar: Them’s the Rules

Good Grammar Adds Up

In arithmetic, the answer to a problem is either right or wrong. Two plus two equal four. There’s no doubt about it; no argument against it is ever considered. Want proof? Try giving someone too little change for a $50 bill.

“Good” grammar, believe it or not, is very much like arithmetic. Questions in grammar have correct answers, just like “two plus two equal four.”

Unfortunately, the correct answers in grammar are not so universally accepted. There are doubts. There are arguments.

“Two plus two equals four,” some might say, not “two plus two equal four.” Well, I say they are wrong, and good grammar backs me up.

Here’s the answer:

In English, the word “two” means “more than one.” “Two” is a plural word (a plural noun to be exact). Plural nouns take plural verbs. “Equal” is a plural verb.

Two plus two equal four. It’s the correct answer, not just my opinion.

Below are grammatical examples, good and bad. The examples were easily collected in a few days, mainly by listening to radio and TV. Try testing yourself. You decide which is correct, version A or version B.

I’ll spare you any more boring explanations but, believe me, the correct answers all add up.  (For the correct answers, ask a teacher or click ALL THE ANSWERS above.)  

                                                                               -I.M.K.

Choose version A or B

Example 1

Version A

Good Grammar: Them’s the rules.

Version B

Good Grammar: Those are the rules.

Example 2

Version A

This is her.

Version B

This is she.

Example 3

Version A

There’s no point in me lying to you.

Version B

There’s no point in my lying to you.

Example 4

Version A

As I told you earlier.

Version B

Like I told you earlier.

Example 5

Version A

There’s less people working these days.

Version B

There are fewer people working these days.

Example 6

Version A

One in three children in America are overweight or obese.

Version B

One in three children in America is overweight or obese.

Example 7

Version A

We appreciate you tuning-in.

Version B

We appreciate your tuning-in.

Example 8

Version A

If it was a Republican…

Version B

If it were a Republican…

Example 9

Version A

He’s encouraging people to not believe.

Version B

He’s encouraging people not to believe.

Example 10

Version A

She’s thinks she’s better than him.

Version B

She thinks she’s better then he.

Example 11

Version A

I couldn’t care less.

Version B

I could care less.

Example 12

Version A

Him and some of his friends wandered away.

Version B

He and some of his friends wandered away.

Example 13

Version A

He’s better off where he’s at.

Version B

He’s better off where he is.

Example 14

Version A

She shouldn’t of done it.

Version B

She shouldn’t have done it.

Example 15

Version A

There’s reasons for that.

Version B 

There are reasons for that.

Example 16

Version A

What’s the point of his asking for a raise?

Version B

What’s the point of him asking for a raise?

Example 17

Version A

Every single one of us has a responsibility.

Version B 

Every single one of us have a responsibility.

Example 18

Version A

She’s my hero.

Version B

She’s my heroine.

Example 19

Version A

There’s a disconnection.

Version B

There’s a disconnect.

Example 20

Version A

The number of vehicles on our roads have gone up.

Version B

The number of vehicles on our roads has gone up.

Example 21

Version A

None of us really likes the French.

Version B

None of us really like the French.

Example 22

Version A

Hopefully, we can all agree on that.

Version B

I hope we can all agree on that.

Example 23

Version A

What kind of a fool am I?

Version B

What kind of  fool am I?

Example 24

Version A

The new governor has doubled the number of limousines at his disposal.

Version B

The new governor has doubled the amount of limousines at his disposal.

Example 25

Version A

They sat down with my wife and I.

Version B

They sat down with my wife and me.

Example 26

Version A

I feel that the Packers are the better team.

Version B

I feel like the Packers are the better team.

Example 27

Version A

The players and the coach are equally as important.

Version B

The players and the coach are equally important.

Example 28

Version A

None of us are perfect.

Version B

None of us is perfect.

Example 29

Version A

What does all this mean to you and me?

Version B

What does all this mean to you and I?

Example 30

Version A

The amount of women who’ve had breast cancer have gone up.

Version B

The number of women who’ve had breast cancer has gone up.

Example 31

Version A

She was forecast to do well.

Version B

She was forecasted to do well.

Example 32

Version A

There is a range of issues.

Version B

There are a range of issues.

Example 33

Version A

What kind of a game is this?

Version B

What kind of game is this?

Example 34

Version A

None of us like difficult tasks.

Version B

None of us likes difficult tasks.

Example 35

Version A

Your home is very unique.

Version B

Your home is unique.

Example 36

Version A

It’s every man for himself.

Version B

It’s every man for themselves.

Example 37

Version A

Nobody should be surprised when a husband stands up for their spouse.

Version B

 Nobody should be surprised when a husband stands up for his spouse.

Example 38

Version A

Fewer than 1oo people have ever climbed Mount Everest.

Version B

Less than 100 people have ever climbed Mount Everest.

Example 39

Version A

If it was me, I’d be worried.

Version B

If it were I, I’d be worried.

Example 40

Version A

Like I told you, I’m not scared.

Version B

As I told you, I’m not scared.

Example 41

Version A

We just knew it was he.

Version B

We just knew it was him.

Example 42

Version A

Each state is responsible for their own election laws.

Version B

Each state is responsible for its own election laws.

Example 43

Version A

Neither of the suspects have been seen since then.

Version B

Neither of the suspects has been seen since then.

Example 44

Version A

I don’t have a problem with his saying it.

Version B

I don’t have a problem with him saying it.

Example 45

Version A

The criminals tossed their victim, unconscious but still alive, into the car’s trunk.

Version B

Unconscious but still alive, the criminals tossed their victim into the car’s trunk.

Example 46

Version A

How do you feel?  I’m good.

Version B

How do you feel?  I’m well.

Example 47

Version A

The  incumbent  has done a good job of growing the economy.

Version B

The  incumbent  has done a good job of helping the economy grow.

Example 48

Version A

Let us go, you  and me.

Version B

Let us go, you and I.

Example 49

Version A

Chucks’ place

Version B

Chuck’s place

Example 50

Version A

Who’s better, he or I?

Version B

Who’s better, him or me?

Example 51

Version A

Just the two of us, you and  me

Version B

Just the two of us, you and  I

Example 52

Version A

One in five relationships now begin on a dating site.

Version B

One in five relationships now begins on a dating site.

Example 53

Version A

He feels very badly about what happened.

Version B

He feels very bad about what happened.

Example 54

Version A

Her and her husband hosted the luncheon.

Version B

She and her husband hosted the luncheon.

Example 55

Version A

Chairmans

Version B

Chairmen

Example 56

Version A

As if that wasn’t  enough

Version B

As if that weren’t  enough

Example 57

Version A

There were a series of burglaries.

Version B

There was a series of burglaries.

Example 58

Version A

Two are company; three are a crowd.

Version B

Two’s company; three’s a crowd.

Example 59

Version A

The victim was lying on the floor.

Version B

The victim was laying on the floor.

Example 60

Version A

Grandma, in her halter top, looked equally as ridiculous.

Version B

Grandma, in her halter top, looked equally ridiculous.

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