0

I am writing an academic paper with my colleague (very good English, but not native speaker), who wrote:

One solution are A systems, which offer high resolution, but at the cost of B and C that have to carefully aligned and calibrated to one another.

For me, from a grammar perspective:

One solution are A systems, which offer high resolution, but at the cost of B and C that have to be carefully aligned and calibrated to one another.

Is it appropriate to omit be here? Which version is more natural in American English?

  • There are other possible wordings that would be OK, but your first example isn't one of them. – Hot Licks May 5 '18 at 1:50
  • @HotLicks Didn't get your point... What did you mean by "possible wordings"? – WDC May 5 '18 at 1:51
  • (There is also a possible problem with the count of "One solutions are", but I'm guessing you elided something there.) – Hot Licks May 5 '18 at 1:52
  • Possible wordings -- you gave two. There are others. – Hot Licks May 5 '18 at 1:53
  • @HotLicks Right, I did elided the previous paragraph. Our logic is, this "solution" points to certain type of system ("A systems"), so we used "are" here. And what did you mean by "two"? We intent to only mention "B" and "C". – WDC May 5 '18 at 1:53
1

Your correction is correct. Without the auxiliary be, the infinitive is incomplete, so that the relative clause is grammatically malformed.

You passed over another fault;

One solution are A systems, ...

As the clause is written, the subject is “one solution”, which is singular. So the verb must be singular. The plural noun phrase complement cannot drag the verb into the plural.

You could reverse the sentence, with A systems as the subject. Then the verb would rightly be singular.

“A systems are one solution” would in that case be correct.

  • 1
    That looks very garden-pathy. 'One solution is to use A-Systems, ...'. – Edwin Ashworth May 5 '18 at 10:26
  • Yes, that works fine, too. – Tuffy May 5 '18 at 11:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.