What fights was/were John

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Sarah-Anne23

Member
England - English
Do I use singular or plural? Fights is plural and John is singular. Which one does the verb have to agree with in the sentence?

Thank you.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello Sarah-Anne - welcome to the forums!

    I'm afraid neither "What fights was John?" nor "What fights were John?" makes sense.

    If this is part of a longer sentence, please give us the longer sentence:).

    Cross-posted
     

    Sarah-Anne23

    Member
    England - English
    What fights was/were John involved in to look so bad?

    Or something along those lines.

    What determines if fights is a noun or verb? Sorry, I am confused.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It might help if you think of a statement rather than a question first.

    Which would you choose out of:
    John was involved in some fights.
    or
    John were involved in some fights.
    ?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree:thumbsup:

    So you'll use the same form of the verb when you turn the statement into a question:
    John was involved in some fights.
    >>
    What fights was John involved in?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes - and the subject is "John" in both
    John was involved in some fights.
    and
    What fights was John involved in?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, we can think of another example:
    John fights with his brother all the time.

    There, fights would be a verb.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What determines if fights is a verb or noun?
    You determine whether it’s a verb or a noun. You use it as one or the other, depending on what you want to say.

    A verb is a doing word. He fights (3rd person singular verb). Fighting is what he does.

    A noun is a “thing”. He hates fights (plural noun). Fights are the “things” he hates.
     
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