A few grammar questions

Hi, I have a few questions that are quite confusing and I would be deeply grateful if my questions could be solved.

  1. Boys and girls may get the same teaching but the latter (works/work) harder.
  2. It’s time the guilty (were/was) punished.
  3. The Irish (has/have) a reputation for illogicality.
  4. The dead (was/were) taken away for burial.
  5. The elderly (need/needs) special care

It would help greatly if explanations were given, since my peers do not seem to know the answers and explanations.

  1. girls work, a girls work. so you need ‘work’.
  2. the guilty people - so you need were.
  3. The Irish people - so you need have.
  4. The dead people/animals - so you need were.
  5. The elderly section of society - so you need need.

Hi Homerho,

The construction where you use the definite article with an adjective to describe a group/section of people invariably requires a plural form of the verb. We talk of: the poor, the rich, the old, the young, the unemployed and so on and in each case we need to use a verb in a plural form.


Thank you!