English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Post by pdh0224 » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:58 pm

Dear teacher,

Studies have found that each season as many as one high school football player in five suffers concussions, a violent jarring of the brain against the unyielding skull.

Q : I believe the function of "as many as" is an adjective modifying "one, for emphasizing it. If it does not, it is not natural that "suffers" is placed before a plural "many".

What do you think?

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Post by Alan » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:38 am

'As many as' serves as a kind of phrasal modifier to 'one (in five)' . It serves to emphasize that 'one' in this context is to be regarded as a high number, since it actually represents 20% of the total.

The sentence subject is thus 'one high school football player', not 'many', hence the singular verb.

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