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You (or someone else responsible) have/has to be there tomorrow.

Which person should I use? 2nd or 3rd?

My opinion is that both should be correct, but I'd like this to be clarified.

How about if there is no parenthesis?

Either my team or you have/has to be there tomorrow.
Either you or my team have/has to be there tomorrow.

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  • I'd recommend replacing "have/has" with "need" - the intent is still there and it's less confusing.
    – 4444
    Jun 12, 2014 at 14:45
  • For your first example, the grammatical version is: "You (or someone else responsible) have to be there tomorrow." -- The stuff within the parentheses is invisible w.r.t. grammatical concerns, with the only systematic exception being the one that involves the article "a/an", e.g. "She made an (interminable) movie about a (supposedly endangered) owl".
    – F.E.
    Jun 12, 2014 at 16:39
  • The parentheses add something not covered in the suggested duplicate.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jun 12, 2014 at 17:05

2 Answers 2

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Both persons are correct. Second person ("you") is more personable, warmer, and closer. Third person is more formal, distant, and perhaps more business-like. I would change the "has to" to "must".

Second person: You (or someone else responsible) must be there tomorrow.

Third person: Fredrick (or someone else responsible) must be there tomorrow.

Parentheses do not determine which person you use.

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You (or someone else responsible) have to be there tomorrow.

The parenthetical clause can be ignored in terms of the agreement, so you treat it as the sentence "You have to be there tomorrow".

Either my team or you have/has to be there tomorrow.

This one is trickier. Your best bet if you can't rephrase entirely would be to apply the proximity principle and have the verb agree with the closest noun or pronoun:

Either my team or you have to be there tomorrow.

However, some will object that "my team or you" are plural or at least seems plural-ish (as certainly "my team and you" is). There's an advantage therefore to:

Either you or my team has to be there tomorrow.

Because at least then both approaches will agree.

It still won't satisfy everyone though.

Better to just rephrase entirely:

Either you have to be there tomorrow, or my team does.

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