Writing Books/no+ area



Hope you are fine!

Would you please answer the following question and explain your reasons?

Which option is correct?

"Since a large number of the world's earthquakes each year occur along the Pacific Ocean, this the most probable area for today's earthquakes. But it could hit any place because no ...... entirely free of earthquakes."

a) areas are

b) area is

Thank you for taking the time to help me.
All the best wishes

Thank you, too, for being so generous and understanding. I'll give a more in-depth answer than you may have wanted, but here goes:

Both a and b are correct, because the first is plural--areas are--and the second is singular-- area is. The final decision can be left up to the writer.

As an aside, from a creative-writing perspective, it's better not to start a sentence with a conjunction such as but, but again, it's up to the writer. In addition, although "since" can also mean "because," it has other meanings, as well, and can be confusing. I'd recommend using "because," which avoids confusion. The statements can also be tightened. If I were asked to recast the sentences completely, I would suggest the following:

Because a large number of the world's earthquakes occur along the Pacific Ocean, it is the most probably area for today's earthquakes; however, they could hit anywhere, because no area is entirely free of earthquakes.  

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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