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ESL forum > Ask for help > was conceived or were conceived?    

was conceived or were conceived?



gharbi2009
Tunisia

was conceived or were conceived?
 
I am wondering which form should be used in this sentence , plural or singular. Please help.
 Milo Casali wa one of the Britain s most famous babies who (conceive) ______________  by arificial insemination after father s death.
Should the verb form be plural or singular after "one of...." . Thanks beforehand.

9 Mar 2018      



nafti
Tunisia

 I think normally it must be was conceived because we talk about Milo whose father died.

9 Mar 2018     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Yes, it must be "was conceived" because Milo is singular. The clue is " ONE of" , which shows that they are talking about one baby. Please leave out the article in front of Britain, and put it in front of father.

9 Mar 2018     



gharbi2009
Tunisia

Thanks a lot! It is an authentic text. I think "the"  is used due to the superlative form and father s death without "the" because father is introduced for the first time in the text. Amazingly, a student of mine made the same remark and that s how I explained it to her.  Nonetheless, as you said, it sounds wrong.

9 Mar 2018     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Agree with nafti and Mary. We can t be having the in front of Britain (special though it is) and the in front of father is certainly necessary in that sentence. You would use his father s death otherwise. You could leave out the article if it was a headline or news summary: Milo Casali, one of Britain s most famous babies, conceived by AI after father s death.  

10 Mar 2018     



nasreddine Sarsar
Tunisia

The relative pronoun who refers to Milo, so who in this case is singular, and it MUST be followed by the singular form of the verb be. I wonder why you were confused!

11 Mar 2018     



gharbi2009
Tunisia

I am confused because the expression " one of ......" can sometimes be followed by plural verb depending on the noun before the relative pronoun, especially if it is used in the middle of a sentence. Consider this : the police said that one of the suspects who were arrested said... isn t it correct to use here "who " referring to suspects and not one.
Thanks Nasreddine!
 

11 Mar 2018     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Yes, it is correct to say one of the suspects who was arrested said (said is singular here referring to one said).  If you change the verb to to be, then you would say, one of the suspects who were arrested was conceived in jail. You would not say one of the suspects who were arrested were conceived in jail.

11 Mar 2018     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

I think you can have MC was one of Britain s most famous babies who were conceived after the father s death. ( after their father s death would make this clearer, if that is what is intended.) 
The who here can refer to them all; indeed he s not the only one, he is among the most famous.  
 

11 Mar 2018     



gharbi2009
Tunisia

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate your comments. I can now confidently go to class.

11 Mar 2018     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

That s nice of you to say, gharbi! I would think that after that set of answers, anybody would be more confused than they were at the beginning!  Still, we try our best!

12 Mar 2018     

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