Verbals Confusing Predicate Verbs

Hi Jonathan,

“Any school that does not is either relying on the student to know that it is necessary and that the student is responsible for it, or is providing entertainment, not education. ”

This sentence is from your blog. Is “does not is” a new grammar pattern?

It looks that way, but it’s really not.

There are three things that make it confusing.

  1. You must remember that you can actually have more than one verb in a sentence.
  2. You must remember the difference between “which” and “that”.
  3. The previous sentence provides context that allows me not to re-state information.

1. A sentence as a main (or predicate) verb … this is the one that has to match the subject.

But then there might be verbs used in verbal phrases. These are just any phrase that includes a verb form.

2. The difference between “which” and “that” is often misunderstood because native speakers might use either one in colloquial situations.

If I had used “which”, it would have been the beginning of a parenthetical statement. That is, it would be related to the subject noun, and give more information about it, but would not be essential to understanding the sentence. (As a parenthetical, we would put commas around that section.) Note that, in this sentence, that would not make any sense at all.

On the other hand, “that” is used to provide identifying information. Consider the question “Which one?”, to which you might answer, “That one.”

So, in the example above, the phrase beginning with “that” provides critical information to you about which specific schools I am referring to, i.e., those that do not (3. do what the previous sentence put in context).

In other words, the phrase starting with “that” is still part of the subject.

Leaving “is” as the predicate verb.

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