You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/.....and the object of the preposition "brothers".....

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted:

You wrote the following:

However, due to common [and incorrect] usage the plural form has become acceptable, since "brothers" is plural.  I do NOT agree, because "of my brothers" is a prepositional phrase, and the object of the preposition "brothers" cannot have a subject.

My question is this:

Why did you call "brothers" a preposition? Isn't "Brother" a plural noun?


Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

I really should not be answering questions.  My entire body is aching and my eyes are blurring.  

I do NOT agree, because "of my brothers" is a prepositional phrase, and the object of the preposition "brothers" cannot have a subject.

I should have written this:

I do NOT agree, because "of my brothers' is a prepositional phrase, and the object of the preposition "of" is "brothers."  Since "brothers" is an OBJECT, it cannot be a SUBJECT.
The actual subject of the sentence is "none."  Therefore, the verb must be singular.

I apologize.

Ted  

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.