Each of them was/were...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Arkalai, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Arkalai Senior Member

    London, England
    English- British
    I was just trying to figure out which option would be correct

    could it be was, referring to each
    or is it were because of them
  2. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Santa Maria, CA
    English (U.S.)
    Definitely the former. "Each" is your verb's subject here, even though "them" is the closer pronoun.

    Different examples with the same sort of idea:
    "One of them was tall."
    "Two of them were short."
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Normally English is very flexible with such things, and you'd expect both options to sound about equally right. For me personally, however, it can only be 'each of them was'. However, 'each of them were' is very common: by studying Google hits I've estimated plural is about one-fifth as common as singular, which is a very respectable minority usage.
  4. Arkalai Senior Member

    London, England
    English- British
    ahh that's a very good way of proving it. Thanks a lot :)

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