I was watching a show the other day and noticed that this on a placard,

Dr. so-and-so and Dr. such-and-such Present blah-blah-blah.

It struck me that a single presenter would have added an s to Present.

Dr. so-and-so Presents blah-blah-blah.

To my small brain the rule would seem to be that plural presenters will present while a single presenter presents.

Is this correct? What is the logic or 'rule of english' behind this?

For anyone curious enough to care, 'Fun With Flags' was being presented.

  • This is an application of the rule that a plural subject goes with a finite verb without the suffix -(e)s while a singular (third-person) subject goes with a finite verb with the suffix -(e)s. There are countless other examples you could use for that rule, like "It remains here" vs. "They remain here". I'm not sure what your question is ... Are you asking about the historical reason for this conjugation pattern in English? – sumelic Feb 10 at 23:08
  • No, I was struck curious about the <plural gets singular> vs <singular gets plural> (yes, I know that the verbs are not singular/plural but that is how I'm describing it). Thanks for this. Can you make it an answer? Expand your comment as you see fit. – Jeeped Feb 10 at 23:40
  • The verbs can be said to be singular/plural, but "presents" doesn't end in the plural "s" suffix that is found on nouns. It ends in a different suffix that coincidentally has the same form. The "-(e)s" suffix found on verbs marks the "third person singular". If this kind of explanation suffices to answer your question, I think there might be a previous post on this site that gives a bit more detail. I will link to it if I find it. – sumelic Feb 10 at 23:44
  • Ah, what about this? Would this answer your question? Origin of pluralisation of verbs and nouns in English – sumelic Feb 10 at 23:45

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