the loss of water and alarm activation was/were caused by the split bellows

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Goldenboy25

Senior Member
Krio
Which of the following verbs was/ were is correct in the sentence below?

The engineer has investigated and confirmed that the loss of water and alarm activation was/were caused by the split bellows in the pumps.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd be perfectly happy with "was" in that sentence. That's because I assume that the alarm was a "low water" or "low pressure" alarm. If it was, there was only one problem, so "was". Of course, if the alarm was not caused by the water loss but was something separate, then "were".
     

    Goldenboy25

    Senior Member
    Krio
    The writer would not have used "in". What he or she would have written instead depends on the relationship between the bellows and the pumps,
    What about if we don't know the bellows are? would "on " be the correct preposition to use in this situation?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    What about if we don't know the bellows are? would "on " be the correct preposition to use in this situation?
    If you don't know the relationship between the things, I don't see how you can use a preposition. The whole purpose of prepositions is to describe relationships. You might use an adjective; "associated with", perhaps.
     
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