as great an actress as has/have ever lived.

< Previous | Next >

Julianus

Senior Member
Korean
Hello

1a. Jane is as great an actress as has ever lived. b. Jane is as great an actress as have ever lived.
2a. They are as great actors as has ever lived. b. They are as great actors as have ever lived.

I think both 1b and 2b are correct and both 1a and 2a are incorrect because the comparison target after the second 'as' is 'many people'. In other words, the subject before 'have/has' maybe the plural(people). Therefore both 1a and 2a are incorrect. Am I right?

Thank you always~.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1a is the one that is correct. The 2s just don't work at all. It will have to be phrased differently to work in the plural.
    1a. Jane is as great an actress as (any actress who) has ever lived.
    2c. They are as great as any actors who have ever lived.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Well, 1b is certainly incorrect, and so is 2a, because of the number mismatch between noun and verb.

    But I agree with Myridon that 2b doesn't really work either, despite the number agreement of noun with verb. The reason for this is that if you use the construction "as <adjective> a <noun> as", then <noun> has to be singular (because the indefinite article "a" is singular). Since there is no plural indefinite article in English, the 1a construction does not have a plural equivalent. Myridon's 2c does, however, have a singular equivalent:
    1c. Jane is as great as any actress who has ever lived.
     

    Julianus

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Then,

    1d. Jane is as great as has ever lived.
    2d. They are as great as have ever lived.

    Are these correct?
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    No, 1d and 2d are not correct, because "as great as" must be followed by a noun (or pronoun or noun phrase).
    So if you add "anyone who" after "as great as" in 1d, that would be OK. You can also make the same change to 2d, but then you have to change have to has, because "anyone" is singular. The have in 2c is there not because they is plural but because actors is.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Then,

    1d. Jane is as great as has ever lived.
    2d. They are as great as have ever lived.

    Are these correct?
    No. As great a what as? "Has every lived" is not something you can directly compare to.
    Jane is as great (an actress) as Meryl Streep.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top