Preventing kidney stones: isn't or aren't ?

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Stevenonline

New Member
Cantonese
Dear friends,

Hello, I have came across a journal today and it contains the following sentence:


"Preventing kidney stones isn’t complicated, as I write in the October Harvard Men’s Health Watch letter, but it does take some determination."

My question is, should the author use "aren't" because there are more than one stone (kidney stones). Also, should he use the past tense "wrote" instead of write because the letter was written in the past? Finally, if he did use the past tense verb "wrote", that means there are mix present and past tenses in one sentence (isn't and wrote), which may be a bad thing?

Sorry for so many questions, If there are any other grammatical errors in my writing please point them out as well. I am trying very hard to improve my English and I greatly appreciate your help!

Many thanks
Steven
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello Stevenonline and welcome.

    The grammar is correct. The kidney stones are not complicated. It is the preventing that is or isn't complicated. The author could have written "The prevention of kidney stones isn't complicated." Instead he or she chose to use the gerund, "preventing".

    Does that help?
     
    Last edited:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The subject of the sentence is "preventing," not "kidney stones," so "Preventing (whatever) isn't complicated" is fine.

    As for "write" rather than "wrote," it is one of those conventions we use -- if someone picks up the magazine a year later and reads it for the first time, the author can say that he "writes" in that particular article ... although "wrote" would also work.

    As for correcting grammatical errors in your writing, I'm afraid the forum rules don't allow us to do that, but we're happy to answer any specific questions -- one per thread -- that you may have.

    Welcome to the forum. :)
     

    Stevenonline

    New Member
    Cantonese
    Dear Buffo and Copyright,

    Thank you very much for the warm welcome and prompt responses! Those explanations are great and helped me to gain a much better understanding.

    Many Thanks
    Steven
     
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