Perhaps a clearer, more practical way of describing this subject-verb peculiarity of inverted sentences is as follows: if the subject and predicate of a sentence differ in number, the binding verb corresponds to the number of substantive sentences on the left. The normative phrase “What I need is two returns to Puerto Princesa”, that is, conversely, “Two round trips to Puerto Princesa is what I need.” 3. Prepositionary sentences beginning with compound prepositions, such as.B. with, with, in addition and should be ignored, as they do not affect subject-verb conformity. Note, however, that in English, inverted sentences have a subject-verb peculiarity when the predicate is a substantive sentence and not just a simple noun or pronoun. This peculiarity is not clear if there is no difference in the number between the subject and the predicate, whether the sentence is for example in the opposite form “The winners of the contests were them” or in the normative form “You were the winners of the contests”. In both sentences, the subject is plural (“the winners of the contests” and “they”), the unifying verb is in the plural form (“were” and “were”) and the subject complement is also plural (“she” and “the winners of the contests”). In such cases, the form of the binding verb “be” corresponds to the previous substantive sentence – the one on the left in the sentence – even if this substantive sentence is logically not the subject. 2. In an inverse sentence that begins with a prepositional sentence, the verb is always in tune with its subject.
In last week`s column, I indicated that the pronoun “she” and not “she” is the correct form of the subject complement in this inverted sentence: “The winners of the contests were (them, them).” I explained that the surgical rule of grammar is that in English, a pronoun that acts as a complement to the subject always takes the subjective form, whether the sentence is in its normative or inverted form. The normative or regular form of the inverted phrase “The winners of the contests were them” is of course “They were the winners of the contests”, with a perfect subject-verb correspondence between the plural subset “them” and the pluralistic past “were” of the unifying verb “to be”. Always remember that the subject complement is the word or phrase that comes according to the verb link to identify or describe the subject of the sentence.. . .