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"Everything the government does doesn't have to be defended".

Is this sentence correct?

Or should I rephrase the sentence as:

"Everything the government does don't have to be defended".

Also

"The damages it cause...." "The damages it causes ...."

Which one of these should I consider? Please do provide an explanation as well.

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  • Singular nouns and pronouns take singular verbs
    – Henry
    Sep 23 at 14:07
  • Interestingly, you remove the comma. If you're going to use such an unwieldy sentence, the comma is probably better kept to aid parsing. Sep 23 at 15:56

2 Answers 2

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Everything is uncountable, so neither singular nor plural. Used as a singular noun as in "everything is fine". Your sentence is correct. Use comma after does.

"Everything the government does, doesn't have to be defended".

It is singular. So the following sentence is correct

"The damages it causes ...."
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  • Thank you for answering. What kind of a word is "damages" in that sentence?
    – Hari S
    Sep 23 at 14:15
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Take out extraneous words.

"Everything doesn't have to be defended"

sounds wrong, not because of number but because of the negation.

The more natural way to say this is "Not everything has to de defended" or:

"Not everything the government does has to be defended".

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