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Thread: A part of them has / have

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Native language
    Catalan & Spanish
    Posts
    14

    A part of them has / have

    I am writing an essay on young people and their worries about getting fit and I have a doubt. In the following sentence: "For instance, they drink alcohol and a considerable part of them even have/has drugs" I don't know which option is the right one. Both seem to me pretty reasonable so I can't make up my mind. Which do you think is the right option?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    London (UK)
    Native language
    Español de España
    Age
    29
    Posts
    1,235

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    Please wait until a native speaker gives more insight but I would say both are correct.

    In any case, I would say "take" rather than "have".

    Regards,

    Bark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Native language
    Spanish
    Posts
    3,717

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    The subject in the second clause is singular ("a considerable part"), so you need a singular verb: a considerable part of them has/takes drugs. (I also think you probably mean "takes drugs"). The problem, however, is that in terms of overall sentence meaning, we are talking about the plural "they" (they drink alcohol), so this "has/takes" feels a little odd. We can always rewrite the sentence to make it all plural, for example with "most," which can be singular or plural, depending on context: For instance, they drink alcohol and most take drugs; For instance, they drink alcohol, and most of them take drugs. Here, the antecedent of "most" is "students," so we use the plural "take."
    Cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ¡Las Américas!
    Native language
    English- NW USA
    Posts
    80

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    Have is correct, because it refers to "they," which is plural.

    Has is only used in the third-person singular.

    A very quick explanation: in English, the verb usually stays the same, except in the third-person singular, where we usually add an "s" to the end. There are irregulars though.

    1st person singular: Tengo un coche --> I have a car
    2nd person singular: Tienes un coche --> You have a car
    3rd person singular: Tiene un coche --> He has a car

    1st person plural: Tenemos un coche --> We have a car
    2nd person plural: Tenéis un coche --> You all have a car
    3rd person plural: Tienen un coche --> They have a car

    I hope that helps!
    Corríjame, por favor- ¡incluyendo errores de acentos y puntuación! Gracias por su ayuda.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Native language
    Catalan & Spanish
    Posts
    14

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    Thank you all for your help.

    larkale07, I know when have and has must be used. The point is I didn't know which one was the right one for the sentence I showed you. Thanks anyway!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Native language
    USA English
    Age
    64
    Posts
    13,223

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    I would use either number or fraction instead of part, along with have (plural).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Native language
    Catalan & Spanish
    Posts
    14

    Re: Has/Have doubt

    Thank you Forero for your help. I eventually used number with have.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Native language
    English - Nueva York
    Posts
    884

    Re: A part of them has / have

    You all may be correct grammatically, but many (most?) people would actually say "use/take drugs," not "uses/takes drugs." Although "part" is a single entity, in common speech it would be treated like "people." People use/take drugs.

    On the other hand, if you said "a part of the population," including the article "a," then most people would say "uses/takes."

    Just FYI.
    Te agradezco que me señales errores en español.

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