Combination of several + has/have


Senior Member
French - France

I got my partner to proofread an important paper for me and he has made a correction I question. It might just be that I got him out of bed much too early for this, but then again, his native language is English (and mine is not).

I wrote:

...the combination of those three examples has specific advantages...
He wrote:

...the combination of those three examples have specific advantages...
I first thought he had simply misread me, then thought perhaps it could be a little more complicated. I've looked for similar things here and in a couple of grammar books, but can't find anything that really works for this example. Which one do you think is correct or sounds better?
  • ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I prefer your version because you are saying that the existence of the advantages is contingent on their being in a combined state.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    American English
    Your subject is combination -- so it should be "has." It's not those three examples that have advantages -- it's the combination of the three that has advantages.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It is common to use plural verbs with the subject explicitly containing 'combination', but I always change them to singular when I proof-read.


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thanks you two! I'll keep my version then :)

    Edit: Entangled, we "cross-posted" - thanks as well for the further explanation!
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