have or has?

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ugly_olive

Member
Canada - French
Forgive me if this is a repeat question. I searched the threads and couldn't find a definite answer. Anyway, here is the sentence:

"If you or your mother have/has any further questions, you may call..."

Any help and/or explanation is truly appreciated. Thanks!
 
  • Violo*

    Senior Member
    Bcn
    Spanish, Català
    I would use have, because it refers to both, you don't mind if it's one or another. So, I understand it as two people, so it's plural sense.
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    Forgive me if this is a repeat question. I searched the threads and couldn't find a definite answer. Anyway, here is the sentence:

    "If you or your mother have/has any further questions, you may call..."

    Any help and/or explanation is truly appreciated. Thanks!
    In theory (according to college writing handbooks), in an "or" situation, the noun closest to the verb is supposed to control the agreement.
    Look at example #3 on this webpage:
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl/eslsubverb.html

    Personally, I try to write my sentences in way that avoids the issue - so I would change it to, "If you and your mother have...."
     
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