2

Which of these is correct?

  • 1.) "Nobody move and nobody gets hurt."

or should it be,

  • 2.) "Nobody move and nobody get hurt."

Here's some related info in wikipedia.

13
  • 1
    The ambiguity in this question makes it slightly interesting because "Nobody get hurt." is a perfectly grammatical command.
    – Jim
    Mar 3 '14 at 5:18
  • 2
    This is probably different, because it seems that the sentence is in the form of a coordination of clauses: an imperative clause and a declarative clause.
    – F.E.
    Mar 3 '14 at 5:46
  • 1
    Honey Bunny: I love you, Pumpkin. Pumpkin: I love you, Honey Bunny. Pumpkin: All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery! Honey Bunny: Any of you ****ing *****s move, and I'll execute every **********ing last one of ya!
    – MT_Head
    Mar 3 '14 at 6:35
  • 2
    The title of my question is misleading. This is not about the word "nobody", but about the whole sentence. So, I apologise for that, but this is not a duplicate question. Thanks to all for participating.
    – Eoin
    Mar 3 '14 at 18:37
  • 3
    This is not a duplicate. There is a conditional in play here that is not present in the other question.
    – phenry
    Mar 3 '14 at 23:25
3
  • 1.) "Nobody move and nobody gets hurt."

  • 2.) "Nobody move and nobody get hurt."

Both of your examples are sentences that, although each one has the appearance of an "and" coordination of two main clauses, each sentence is actually interpreted as if it was a conditional construction ("if P then Q").

In this type of construction, the first clause in each sentence is an imperative clause, which happens in your examples to retain most of its directive force (for both sentences, it retains the directive force of "Nobody move!"). The second clause can be of various different clause types (e.g. declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamative).

The construction involves an asymmetric "and" coordination, and the topic of asymmetric coordination is often not taught in grammar usage manuals, or in classrooms (high school or lower), or by "pop grammarians", or by online grammar sites -- although we native English speakers commonly use them, and uses of them can easily be found in print and spoken forms.

In the top part of my post, I'll deal with your #1 version. At the bottom of this post I'll address your #2 version.

= = = = PART A:

  • 1.) "Nobody move and nobody gets hurt."

SHORT ANSWER: Version #1 is grammatical. The sentence is in the form of a coordination of an imperative clause and a declarative clause; and the sentence can be interpreted as a conditional ("If nobody moves, then nobody gets hurt"); and it seems that the full directive force of the imperative ("Nobody move!") is retained.

LONG ANSWER: Your sentence is in the form of a coordination of clauses: an imperative clause and a declarative clause. Your first clause is identical to what is in the 2002 CGEL, page 927, as an example of an imperative with a 3rd person subject:

  • [7].i. Nobody move. -- [subject]

Also, CGEL also has this tidbit on that example:

Nobody in [7.i] is unambiguously subject because a vocative can't be negative, . . .

Your sentence, which is an asymmetric "and" coordination of an imperative clause with a declarative clause, can be interpreted as a conditional. Here's a related excerpt from CGEL, in "9.5 Imperatives interpreted as conditionals", page 937-8:

When an imperative is the first element in a clause-coordination, it is commonly interpreted as a conditional:

[39]

  • i. Ask him about his business deals and he quickly changes the subject.

  • ii. Do that again and you'll regret it.

  • iii. Persuade her to agree and I'll be forever in your debt.

  • iv. Don't make him the center of attention and he gets in a huff.

Thus we understand "If you ask him about his business deals he quickly changes the subject", and so on. The examples illustrate the prototypical case, where the second clause is declarative and overtly linked to the imperative by and. The conditional interpretation derives from the implicative of consequence that is commonly conveyed by and -- compare I'll offer him a 10% discount and he's bound to take it. The first clause is usually positive, but it is just possible for it to be negative, as in [iv]; the form of the negative shows clearly that it is indeed the imperative construction that we are dealing with here.

(There's more neat info in there, but my fingers are tired.)

With the OP's example:

"Nobody move and nobody gets hurt."

the interpretation can be: "If nobody moves, then nobody gets hurt". Though, in the OP's example, it seems that the full directive force of the imperative ("Nobody move!") is retained.

(Note that CGEL is the 2002 reference grammar by Huddleston and Pullum et al., The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.)

= = = = PART B:

  • 2.) "Nobody move and nobody get hurt."

Your version #2 seems to be pretty much kinda similar to your version #1, with the difference being that the 2nd coordinate is also an imperative clause.

That is: The sentence is in the form of a coordination of two imperative clauses; and the sentence can be interpreted as a conditional ("If nobody moves, then nobody gets hurt"); and it seems that the full directive force of the first imperative ("Nobody move!") is retained, while the directive force of the second imperative is lost.

Basically, everything else that I've mentioned in the above "Part A" also applies here. For your version #2, here's some related info from CGEL, in "Clause type of second coordinate", page 939:

The second clause can belong to other clause types than declarative; what is important is not the form but what the clause conveys:

[41]

  • i. Invite one without the other and what a row there'll be. -- [exclamative]

  • ii. Tell the truth and [who'll believe you / what'll they do]? -- [open interrogative]

  • iii. Act in haste and repent at leisure. -- [imperative]

. . . In [iii] the second imperative indirectly conveys approximately "you'll regret it (for a long time)".

.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

5
  • 1
    'Nobody move! That way, nobody will get hurt.' Mar 3 '14 at 8:54
  • 1
    Thank you! Your answer is great and it's exactly what I was looking for.
    – Eoin
    Mar 3 '14 at 18:06
  • I don't see how you can interpret 2 imperative clauses as a conditional in the case of the second sentence. Even what you state from CGEL (41.iii) points to it having a different meaning than the first sentence, namely that 2 orders are being given: 1. Do not move. 2. Do not get hurt.
    – msam
    Mar 4 '14 at 14:36
  • @msam That sounds like a good question. :) Perhaps consider posting it as a question on this site?
    – F.E.
    Mar 4 '14 at 22:57
  • here you go
    – msam
    Mar 5 '14 at 7:42
2

The correct usage is: "Nobody gets whatever" nobody (=no one) is in third person singular form. So you have to add a 's' to root verb. It is similar to 'everyone' or 'everybody'. Eg: "Nobody has right to do 'whatever'." You're using 'has' not. 'Have' with nobody.

"Everyone gets appreciation except me"

1
  • -1 Possibly "correct", but what is the source/ authority? One needs to substantiate an answer adequately.
    – Kris
    Mar 3 '14 at 6:12

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