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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

We learn that environment shape civilization and influence liturature.


We learn that environment shapes civilization and influences literature.

I'm confused if the verbs, "shape" and "influence" need to agree with the word, "environment." In microsoft grammar-check, both versions seem to be correct.

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@jwpat7 Fixed that. – Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 8:18
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes. Microsoft is a computer software house, not an English teacher. "Environment" is a singular noun and should have singular verbs.

Environment shapes civilisation and influences literature.

...is a complete sentence and can be considered in isolation. Then, when you make it what is learnt:

We learn that environment shapes civilisation and influences literature.

...it must remain the same. It's possible that the software is getting confused by the initial we and not recognising the difference the that makes.

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Thanks! I thought so and needed a second opinion. – user37615 Feb 14 '13 at 9:22

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