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Is the following sentence grammatically correct?

Was there any insight you had or analytical deductions you made that we didn't know about?

I'm not sure because "was" should be singular for "insight", but the verb ought to be "were" for "analytical deductions."

closed as off-topic by Hank, NVZ, user66974, Chenmunka, jimm101 Mar 3 '17 at 13:10

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  • I think you are asking about any this or that, which is singular. – Yosef Baskin Feb 27 '17 at 21:12
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    How about: did you have any insight or make any analytical deductions that we didn't know about? – Chris M Feb 27 '17 at 22:06
  • @YosefBaskin Should it still be "were" for "any analytical deducations" though? – intersection Feb 27 '17 at 22:55
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    I learned that the verb goes according to the proximal noun when a singular and plural are split by "or". "was" is closer to "insight" than "deductions." – rosends Feb 28 '17 at 1:54
  • I read the sentence as asking about 'any one of this or one of those,' which calls for singular either way. As others explain here, 'was any insight' is right due to neighborhood. See Chris M for the sleekest solution from the ground up, by making the sentence more direct to begin with. That's editing. – Yosef Baskin Feb 28 '17 at 15:22
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When two subjects are combined by the conjunction or, the verb agrees in number with the closer subject. If the closer subject is singular, the verb is singular (even if the farther one is plural); If the closer subject is plural, the verb is plural (even if the farther one is singular).

The room is too crowded, either two chairs or a table has got to be moved out.

The room is too crowded, either a table or two chairs have got to be moved out.

"Was there any insight you had or analytical deductions you made that we didn't know about?"

The same rule may be applied here.

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