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I'm attempting to design a worksheet for TEFL students. Here's one of the questions:

4) Your friend Tina who lives close by comes to visit you today. You want to ask her what she was doing when it started to rain last night (at around 8pm). How would you ask her?

Should my question say 'Tina who live close by' or 'Tina who lives close by'

My next question question (5) says this:

5) A group of friends who lives close by comes to visit you today. You want to ask them what they were doing when it started to rain last night (at around 8pm). How would you ask them what they were doing?

I assume it's 'who lives close by...' or is it 'who live close by'.

Is there any particular grammatical rule or rule-of-thumb which we can follow to work out if it's 'live' or 'lives'.

marked as duplicate by tchrist Jul 25 '18 at 12:03

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  • Did you wonder why who is used and not which here? Any thoughts? – Kris Jul 4 '18 at 7:12
  • Have you visited English Language Learners ? – Kris Jul 4 '18 at 7:13
  • This website explains the who/which issue: grammarbook.com/grammar/whoVwhVt.asp – DerpDevil Jul 4 '18 at 7:17
  • @DerpDevil: If I say 'A party of friends...', presumably, the sentence would become: 'A party of friends which lives close by will come to visit you today....' – wordplay Jul 5 '18 at 6:21
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An individual or singular entity "lives", multiple people/entities "live". Tina lives, while your friends live. Also, instead of saying, "comes to visit you today", you might change it to "is coming/will come to visit you today". It's not that the first phrase is grammatically incorrect; but since you are indicating the interaction will be happening in the future, it makes more sense to phrase it that way.

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    It's more complicated than that. See also my comment at OP. – Kris Jul 4 '18 at 7:11
  • It was only meant to reference the above examples, not be a full lesson on conjugating the word "live". But, since you pointed it out, I, you, we, and they also use "live". – DerpDevil Jul 4 '18 at 7:25
  • This doesn't address the question of whether the group "lives" or "live" nearby. This, to me, could depend on whether the members of the group all live in the same house ("the group who/which lives nearby") or separate houses ("the group who live nearby"). – user184130 Jul 25 '18 at 10:22
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    "The group" is a collective singular noun - there may be more than one in the group, but there is only one group, so "lives" is the proper verb. – DerpDevil Sep 2 '18 at 0:01

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