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Please tell me if the following sentence requires "have" or "has":

My degree in Cell Biology and Genetics has allowed me to take a wide range of courses that has/have opened my eyes to new aspects of the field.

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marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, lindanaughton, Rory Alsop, RegDwigнt Feb 6 '13 at 10:54

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4 Answers 4

In ‘a wide range of courses’, ‘courses’ is the head word of the noun phrase, and it follows that the verb will show plural agreement: have. This contrasts with the situation when such a noun phrase begins with the definite, rather than the indefinite, article. In an example such as ‘The wide range of courses available has opened up many possibilities’, it is ‘range’ that would normally be regarded as the head word, and agreement is then singular: has.

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... a wide range of courses that has opened my eyes...

Your eyes were opened by the range. There's only one range, so we'd use singular has.

... a wide range of courses that have opened my eyes...

Your eyes were opened by the courses. There's more than one course (indeed, I hear there's a wide range of them), and they opened your eyes.

Hence, this is the one to use.

As opposed to:

The college prospectus shows a wide range of courses that has impressed me.

Here, it's not the courses themselves that impressed, but the wide range of them, so singular.

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A range {of courses} has been offered. The {courses} are very popular. That range {of courses} is configured to appeal to the youth. A group {of Titans} has invaded the city. A box {of cigarettes} was found in the classroom. –  Blessed Geek Jan 31 '13 at 7:38

I would definitely go with have rather than has.

Eyes conveys the plural and hence the choice of have. If it were singular e.g. "...opened my eye", then I would go with has.

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2  
Eyes is not the word that needs to agree with the verb in this sentence. –  J.R. Jan 30 '13 at 9:48
group1:{My degree in Cell Biology and Genetics}
 {HAS allowed me to take}

group2: {a wide range {of courses} that}
 {HAS opened my eyes} {to new aspects of the field}.

Both groups 1 & 2 are singular instigators of action.

The plurality of verb is due to the instigator of the action not the receiver.

He (Singular) has (singular verb) opened my eyes (plural).

The following are examples singular collectives instigating singular actions:

A flock of birds HAS nowhere to go for the winter.

{A flock of birds}
HAS
nowhere to go for the winter.

The cause of the diseases which HAVE killed so many people HAS yet to be determined.

{The cause of
    {
       {the diseases} which
       HAVE
       killed so many people
    }
}
HAS
yet to be determined
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Would you say the range opened their eyes rather than the courses themselves? I think this is closer to the HAVE with diseases than the HAS with the cause. –  Jon Hanna Jan 30 '13 at 10:53