Is the following sentence correct? Does it sound awkward?

It wasn't long before he and Dolores were locking eyes.

  • 1
    There actually is no object in that subclause. He and Dolores is your subject. – Sander Aug 25 '15 at 5:45
  • Actually, the object of the clause he and Dolores were locking eyes is eyes. And eyes is not equal (do you mean identical or having the same value?) to the subject he and Dolores. – oerkelens Aug 25 '15 at 6:25
  • Yes, I see my error in terms of trying to think of a catchy title. For dramatic effect I implied an object/subject split where grammatically there was none. Still, if you knew Dolores like I know Dolores, you would conclude that the subject and the object were definitely equal. – damon Aug 26 '15 at 3:12

Yes it's correct. The subject, "He and Dolores", is plural and the use of "were" is correct. As a test for the correct use of the pronoun "He" the sentence can be stated while leaving the second part of the subject Dolores off. For example: It wasn't long before him was locking eyes. Right away one can tell that using "him" in the sentence would sound awkward. Thus, restating the phrase, It wasn't long before "he" was locking eyes sounds grammatically correct. Finally, by substituting back with the proper verb tense, one can see that "He" and Dolores were locking eyes is correct.

  • 1
    Thank you. I think what confused me is when I tested the sentence in my head, I tested it using "were." Now I see I can test the sentence in the singular "was." I am going to bookmark this address. – damon Aug 25 '15 at 9:31

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