one of the main features that make/makes us succesful

applepi

Senior Member
spanish
Hello everyone

After "one of the main + plural noun", what should we use, a singular verb (agreement with "one") or a plural verb (agreement with the "plural noun")?

A) "Creativity is one of the main features that MAKES us successful as individuals and as a species"

B) "Creativity is one of the main features that MAKE us successful as individuals and as a species"

Thank you!
 
  • gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Hi,

    What is wrong about the first alternatvie (makes)? Is it plainly wrong, does the meaning change, is it OK but does not saound natural:confused::confused::confused:?
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    Hi,

    What is wrong about the first alternatvie (makes)? Is it plainly wrong, does the meaning change, is it OK but does not saound natural:confused::confused::confused:?
    I’m surprised you asked this 😌 (take it as a compliment).
    “That” refers to “features”, so it requires the plural verb.

    P.S: Spanish isn’t any different: “La creatividad es una de las principales características que nos HACEN exitosos como individuos y como especie”.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English
    On other sites I've visited the conclusions are similar (depends on the grammarian's/reader's taste).
    With all respect, I don't think Jennifer's comment was really fair.

    This was a perfectly reasonable question that many native speakers are unsure about.

    I think it has to do with the fact that in other circumstances, teachers always tell us to concentrate on the main noun in the sentence, not nouns in subordinate clauses.
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    With all respect, I don't think Jennifer's comment was really fair.

    This was a perfectly reasonable question that many native speakers are unsure about.

    I think it has to do with the fact that in other circumstances, teachers always tell us to concentrate on the main noun in the sentence, not nouns in subordinate clauses.

    With all due respect, I didn’t mean anything bad. Native speakers disagree with each other at a number of points. The sentence is crystal clear: that refers to the plural noun which triggers the plural verb form. You will find this information in any grammar reference book.

    But as always there are two approaches: prescriptive and descriptive. Hence, all these disagreements.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Thanks everyone for your help. This other site indicates that while a plural verb sounds like the logical choice, many users (native users, I suppose) have started to use the singular, and there may be some logic in that. Her article even mentions a famous writer from the 1700s who freely swayed between the singular and the plural. This topic may be clearer in English, but it is a matter of controversy in other Indo-European languages. In any case, I think going with the plural is safest.
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    Thanks everyone for your help. This other site indicates that while a plural verb sounds like the logical choice, many users (native users, I suppose) have started to use the singular, and there may be some logic in that. Her article even mentions a famous writer from the 1700s who freely swayed between the singular and the plural. This topic may be clearer in English, but it is a matter of controversy in other Indo-European languages. In any case, I think going with the plural is safest.

    Entonces me gustaría saber si la misma duda se les ocurre a los nativos en español. En #6 espero haber traducido la oración correctamente. Supongo que solo "hacen" se puede usar ya que "que" refiere a "las principales características". ¿Tengo razón y la perdí del todo?
     
    Last edited:

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hello everyone

    After "one of the main + plural noun", what should we use, a singular verb (agreement with "one") or a plural verb (agreement with the "plural noun")?

    A) "Creativity is one of the main features that MAKES us successful as individuals and as a species"

    B) "Creativity is one of the main features that MAKE us successful as individuals and as a species"

    Thank you!
    It depends on context.
    Hi,

    What is wrong about the first alternatvie (makes)? Is it plainly wrong, does the meaning change, is it OK but does not saound natural:confused::confused::confused:?
    It has a different meaning, but the meanings are both so dependent on context that they can almost substitute for each other.

    For this meaning:
    There are some "main features that make us successful."

    Creativity is one of them.
    you need a plural verb.

    But if you mean that, of "the main features" (of something evident from the context), creativity is one that makes us successful, whether or not there are others that do the same, then you need the singular verb.
     

    franzjekill

    Mod E/S
    Español rioplatense
    P.S: Spanish isn’t any different: “La creatividad es una de las principales características que nos HACEN exitosos como individuos y como especie”
    Supongo que solo "hacen" se puede usar ya que "que" refiere a "las principales características". ¿Tengo razón y la perdí del todo?

    En español es diferente: ambas concordancias son admitidas: "La creatividad es una de las características que nos hace/hacen exitosos como individuos...". La RAE (4:11) * manifiesta preferencia por la concordancia en plural, pero admite que se haga en singular.

    *«Uno de los que logró llegar a la orilla [...] hubo de lanzarse de nuevo al agua» (País [Esp.] 11.10.80); «Uno de los que votaron en contra fue el ex ministro sin cartera» (País [Esp.] 2.2.84)
     
    Top