JOSEPH
Is this a correct sentence? Confused with the singular and plural forms. We sometimes imagine cats to be a sort of independent animal who lead mysterious lives of their own. or should I say: We sometimes imagine cats to be a sort of independent animal who leads a mysterious life of its own. Or neither is natively correct? x_x Thank you so much!
May 4, 2011 3:02 AM
Answers · 4
We sometimes imagine cats to be a sort of independent animal who lead mysterious lives of their own....CORRECT The "who" refers to "cats". It doesn't not refer to "animal". Similarly: Apples are a kind of fruit. Dogs are a kind of animal. Eagles are a kind of bird.
May 4, 2011
One is incorrect because the relative pronoun who refers to the singular antecedent 'animal'. We sometimes imagine cats to be a sort of independent (animal who lead) mysterious lives of their own. -We sometimes imagine cats to be INDEPENDENT ANIMALS who lead mysterious lives of their own. Two is correct. -We sometimes imagine cats to be a sort of independent animal (who) leads a mysterious life of its own. A few other points to consider. a sort of = something in the nature of, approximating the qualities of but not having all the qualities of -He is a sort of Napoleon. sort of (Colloquial) = adverb. somewhat, to a moderate degree -He is sort of crazy. We imagine cats to be sort of an independent animal. (sort of independent animals) * Teacher (Brad) is correct. The relative pronoun should be 'that' or 'which' when referring to animals. Pets with names or animals that are characters in stories are often exceptions to this rule. Ex. My dog Bim, who(m) everyone knows as Beemer, is the world's best dog. I think sentence number two is basically okay. The problem arises when you use the linking verb "to be" and switch from plural to singular. CATS to be A SORT of This switch is allowed in the English language but to avoid confusion you can use the singular form on both sides of the linking verb 'to be". We sometimes imagine the cat to be a sort of independent animal that leads a mysterious life of its own.
May 4, 2011
You can avoid the confusion by eliminating the article "a" and substituting "rather" for "sort of": We sometimes imagine cats to be rather independent animals that lead mysterious lives of their own. Notice I've replaced "who" with "that"--call me old-fashioned, but I think "who" should be reserved for humans! :-)
May 4, 2011
The first one is correct - and quite a well-phrased sentence in fact! The only ways of creating slightly-differently worded sentences I can think of are: Sometimes we imagine... ...cats as independent animals... ...who have mysterious lives... ...all their own. ...of their own making. However the top sentence is fine! :)
May 4, 2011
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
JOSEPH
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English