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This question already has an answer here:

'We are one, a global team that makes/make each other better.'

Which would be the correct?

marked as duplicate by Davo, Drew, tchrist Jan 22 '18 at 17:21

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    This is a good question, one that can not be answered without a determination as to whether the "team" is "one" or many ........that you describe "We" as "one" suggests that the "team" is "one", so, probably the "team" makes each other better............ – J. Taylor Jan 22 '18 at 8:50
  • Thanks. And if we add a company name fter 'one', suggestion a unity within the company, would that be different? 'We are one ******, a global team that......' – Jonas Spångberg Jan 22 '18 at 9:04
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    If you are "one" then you are singular – J. Taylor Jan 22 '18 at 9:31
  • If you are one global team, who is/are the "each other"? The sentence needs rephrasing for readability. Members of the team would be "each" not "each other". If the members help each other to be better, that is not conveyed by this sentence. – Kris Jan 22 '18 at 11:05
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The key here is each other. You cannot say

*Our team makes each other better,

(even in American English) because the words each other make it clear that there are multiple people involved, all making each other better. Thus, even though the subject is singular, the each other makes it clear that you're talking about the team as a collective. So you have to use the plural form make.

In American English, the disagreement in number between "one, a global team" and "each other" is big enough that you should probably rewrite the whole sentence. I expect it works in British English where you can use plural verbs for singular subjects that are treated as collectives, although you'd have to get an opinion from somebody from the U.K. to be sure.

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It should be 'We are one, a global team that makes each other better.'

The part of sentence 'We are one, a global team' infers that the subject is singular.

And the rule for Subject-Verb agreement states that

'In the present tense, nouns and verbs form plurals in opposite ways: nouns ADD an 's' to the singular form; verbs REMOVE the 's' from the singular form.'

Hence, in the sentence above, verb will be in plural form.

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The key in your sentence is "one." You are saying that the many (we) are united into a single entity (one), "e pluribus unum." Therefore "makes" (singular) is correct.

  • Singular would be makes. – Peter Shor Jan 22 '18 at 12:52
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They would both be incorrect, or at least sound rather strange.

By looking only at the fragment "make each other" vs. "makes each other", we can see clearly that the latter does not work, because use of "makes" implies that the subject is singular, but use of "each other" implies that it is plural -- a contradiction.

Thus we cannot use "makes".

Focusing instead on the fragment "a (...) that makes" vs. "a (...) that make", we are forced to choose the former, since the latter again confuses singular and plural. The use of "a" implies that the subject is singular, but the use of "make" implies that is is plural.

Thus we cannot use "make".

Perhaps some readers will not be disturbed by the use of "makes", and perhaps some will not be disturbed by the use of "make". Yet both versions are incorrect, in the sense that they contain illogical elements which will momentarily distract a significant portion of readers from the meaning of the sentence. Knowing this, I recommend that you choose another formulation entirely.

  • @NigelJ Thanks! I agree that either singular or plural needs to be chosen. The point is that neither choice is acceptable as originally proposed. A reworked construction can use either singular or plural, and the "right" choice is largely a matter of personal opinion. This answer does not try to deal with choices relating to personal opinion of the writer. – Segoro Jan 22 '18 at 13:42
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A team that make/makes each other better.

This statement is a logical dichotomy. If there was a league of teams, they could, as teams, make one another better. The teams make each other better - as teams.

Or, the individual members of a single team could make one another better (within the compass of the environment of the team). Thus they (plural) make one another better, within the team.

But to speak of the team as an entity acting upon itself produces a logical dichotomy which confuses the grammar. If the team is regarded as an entity 'we are one' then one cannot (at the same time) regard the individuals as separate entities.

Thus the statement needs to make up its mind about the logic of the expression.

That apart, this answer here indicates that 'each other' is usually used (by most writers) to express what occurs between two individuals. 'One another' is how most writers express interactions between more than two individuals.

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