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Grammar Question

June 17th, 2018 at 04:56 pm

I know this is completely random, but there are a lot of writers around here. Big Grin

Is this correct grammar?

The unlikely duo pursues their only lead.

MH got a note that this should be:
The unlikely duo pursue their only lead.

I am his unofficial editor, but looking this up is giving me a headache (especially because I only have a few minutes). I think that probably sounds right, but no one giving him notes is a grammar expert by any means. (I am more of a human spell checker).


10 Responses to “Grammar Question”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Now you have me interested...

    This is what I think and I am not a grammar expert...if we use the word in a sentence like this..."He and his friend make quite a duo." the "a' means it is singular so the note taker would be right. But personally, I think the way your husband wrote it sounds correct.

    I look forward to seeing what everyone else has to say.

  2. Buendia Says:

    I agree with Rob62521... duo is actually singular in this case. So it's the duo pursues. I think of it like the word "family" or "flock" or another word that refers to a group of individuals. The individuals are plural but the group is singular. You wouldn't say "the family go to the store." It's clearly "the family goes to the store." Your husband is so totally right!

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I agree that in this sentence "duo" is singular. It's like "team" -- singular, even though referring to more than one person. But that means that "their" should be replaced by "its." "The unlikely duo pursues its only lead." I don't have any credentials other than being an English major, though! But I do know if there is a singular subject, the verb and any modifier has to be singular, too.

  4. Laura S. Says:

    When the group is being considered as a whole, it can be treated as a single entity: “the group was ready to go on stage.” But when the individuality of its members is being emphasized, “group” is plural: “the group were in disagreement about where to go for dinner.”

  5. Amber Says:

    First option is my choice.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    You could download Grammerly and put your sentences through that. It's free.

  7. crazyliblady Says:

    Duo here is in the singular. So, it should be the "duo pursues...."

  8. Jenn Says:

    CB is right.

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    Duo is what's known as a collective noun, like committee, family and staff. Duo can take the singular or plural form depending on whether the action being performed by the duo is done collectively or not. Looks like from your sentence they're doing it in concert, together, so it would take a singular verb, the unlikely duo pursues...

  10. MonkeyMama Says:

    Thanks everyone!

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