English as a Second Language/The use of "that"


Dear Amy,

May I ask if the following sentence is correct:

"We kindly ask you to take part in this survey regarding the group of employees that is under your subordination."

Is it correct to say "is" in this case? My goal is to refer to the "group" (not the "employees"), however, it does sound a bit weird to me. I cannot think of a way how to rephrase this to make it sound right.

Thank you for your help! I appreciate it a lot.

Best wishes


Hi Kes,

and thank you for your question.

The sentence looks and sounds fine to me. Like you stated, you refer to the group, not the individual employees, therefore it's the third person singular of the verb "to be" that you should be using:

"...the group... is..."

If you really want to rephrase the sentence you can say:

We kindly ask you to take part in this survey regarding all the employees that are in your subordination.

Would that work for you?

Please feel free to follow up with me if you need more help with this.

Looking forward to more questions from you in the future.

Best regards,  

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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