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Is this comment that I made here grammatically correct?

In Latin, when a group of males and females is combined, the neutral plural form is not used, but rather the masculine is.

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2  
Please include the comment in the question to prevent link rot. –  Monica Cellio May 16 '12 at 16:25
    
Just copy the comment here and ask a more specific grammatical question? What exactly is your concern? Is it the ellipsis? –  Mitch May 16 '12 at 16:27
    
The "but rather" construct is a little confusing to me. –  Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 16:36
    
Do you mean, like, into one giant person? Or into a vat of stew? Or do you mean, "when a group of males and a group of females are combined...?" –  D. Patrick May 16 '12 at 16:48

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In:

In Latin, when a group of males and females is combined, the neutral plural form is not used, but rather the masculine is.

'but rather' is perfectly fine and a good alternative to:

In Latin, when a group of males and females is combined, the neutral plural form is not used; rather the masculine is.

'Rather' is like 'instead'; using 'but' allows it in one conjoined sentence rather than a separate one.

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Thank you very much. –  Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 19:30

Assuming you are referring to the clause "when a group of males and females is combined" then the answer is "Yes, it is correct." Because you are talking about a group (singular), the verb should be is. Were you to restate it: "when males and females is combined" it would, of course be wrong, and should be written: "when males and females are combined" because you are using a plural subject.

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In response to what treehead asserted, the verb "combined" should be noted to be of great importance when revising the statement "In Latin, when a group of males and females is combined, the neutral plural form is not used, but rather the masculine is." The word "combined" is used to show that there are 2 or more things which are being brought together to create 1. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that a group(the already combined form) of two components(males and females) is combined. However, if "when a group of males and females is combined" is meant to refer to 'a group of males' and 'a group of females' being combined, the plural form 'are' should be used instead of the singular form 'is' due to the existence of there being 2 things. An object cannot combine with itself unless it were to disintegrate beforehand.

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