A part of them has / have

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by faurero55, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. faurero55 New Member

    Catalan & Spanish
    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. Bark

    Bark Senior Member

    London (UK)
    Español de España
    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".


  3. SevenDays Senior Member

    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."
  4. larkale07 Member

    ¡Las Américas!
    English- NW USA
    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!
  5. faurero55 New Member

    Catalan & Spanish
    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. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I would use either number or fraction instead of part, along with have (plural).
  7. faurero55 New Member

    Catalan & Spanish
    Thank you Forero for your help. I eventually used number with have.
  8. BrooklynBoy

    BrooklynBoy Senior Member

    English - Nueva York
    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.

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