Formally, we recommend grammatically correct construction, although this might worry some readers. In this case, the collective name, the family, is unique, because each duck does the same thing and therefore acts as a unit: „A family of ducks rested on the grass.“ One thing I read and hear diverts my attention from what is said to say how it is said involves a numbers agreement. For example, someone might say, „My fear number one is a heart attack.“ Obviously, the spokesperson fears „a heart attack“ or simply a „heart attack“, but often the subject and the predictive nominative (if I remember my English high school correctly) do not match in number. In my career as a judicial journalist, I have not been able to change the words spoken, but as a young writer, I have again rephrased sentences to avoid this construction simply because it does not sound right. You have found some delicate phrases, and we must be careful to choose the right rules to apply. The example of our site is taken from Rule 14 of the subject and verb agreement and deals with pronouns, those, those, or these, and how the verb must coincide with the noun before these pronouns. Purdue`s example does not include pronouns, those or those. Here is our article 2 of the search for subjects and verbs, which says: „A subject will stand before a sentence beginning with.“ This theme is „group“ and corresponds to the singular verb „contains.“ 10-A. Using one of these is a pluralistic verb. I feel like „five“ is the subject of this sentence, but I can`t have much pulling force here at the office. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, we agree that we often see and hear false agreements on subjects and verbs.
In the case of your first sentence, „My number one fear is heart attack,“ the sentence is not false, but it is said heavily. The theme of the phrase is „fear,“ which is unique. The singular verb „is“ is consistent with the subject. The object, „heart attacks,“ is plural, which makes the phrase strange. Is the person afraid of a heart attack or several heart attacks? We don`t know. 1. The team has been going to the National since the victory of the national finals. The team is used as a cohesive unit, so a singular verb is needed. Their sentences do not address our theme of collective nouns. Please follow our rules for pronouns, subject verb agreement and prepositions to help you with these sentences.