pair of eyes is | on the ocean

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

Brahman
Gold Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:04 am
Location: Singapore

pair of eyes is | on the ocean

Postby Brahman » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:25 pm

Australian Deputy PM has been reported to have said, "It is more likely that a pair of eyes are going to identify something floating in the ocean."

I wonder, shouldn't it be "a pair of eyes is" and "floating on the ocean"?

User avatar
Alan
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12190
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: pair of eyes is | on the ocean

Postby Alan » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:50 am

1. While AmE usage would insist on the singular, BrE usage here accepts either, with the plural being actually the more common choice.

2. Although 'on' would be possible, 'in' is in fact the normal preposition with 'float' in relation to a body of water. (The assumption is that at least a very small part of the object is slightly under the surface).


Return to “Grammar Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests