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Ok, we often hear people say "Subject-Verb-Agreement" Eg I am, you are, he does....

But what about "Subject-Object Agreement"?

Let see these sentence:

We have no problem when saying:

"I have to wear a school uniform"

"I have a mobile"

But, when the subject is plural

"They have to wear a school uniform"

"Most people have a mobile."

DO we have some sort of guidelines on this matter?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Janus Bahs Jacquet, David, Davo, Chris H, Skooba Jul 18 '17 at 15:30

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  • What matter exactly? There is no agreement between subject and object. Your objects are completely identical in both the singular and the plural versions, so what is the agreement you’re looking for? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '17 at 9:02
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, my question is asking you to answer: why do we say "They have to wear a school uniform" when "they" is a plural & "a uniform" is a singular – Tom Jul 16 '17 at 9:07
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    A uniform simply describes the clothes, so there is no problem: they each wear a different set of clothes conforming to the uniform. Perhaps a better sentence would be "The women have a husband" or something. But basically it comes down to context: the brain is extremely good at sorting out ambiguities based on what is normal (which is how it is tricked with optical illusions occasionally). – Andrew Leach Jul 16 '17 at 9:23
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    @Tom Why shouldn’t we? Why would you expect that a plural subject and a singular object cannot coexist? Would you also expect that a singular subject and a plural object cannot coexist, so that “I have two jackets” would be somehow wrong? If not, why would you expect “Jane and Mark have a son” to be somehow wrong? I’m not aware of any language on earth that would impose such a mind-boggling limitation—it simply goes against physical reality. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '17 at 9:44
  • We understand that if "They wear a uniform," they do not all squeeze into one suit. If they wear uniforms, it sounds like each student has many suits. So it's clearer to keep the object singular. – Yosef Baskin Jul 16 '17 at 13:57