# Is this sentence correct?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by gogoalie, Sep 8, 2010.

1. ### gogoalieChillin' With My Peeps

May 15, 2010
Alaska
I just got my son's Saxon math homework, & I see one of his problems asks this:

"What fractional part of the pets is birds?"

& again this one:

"What fractional part of the pets is cats?"

Am I wrong, or what? But shouldn't both the "is'" be "are"? ie. "What fractional part of the pets ARE birds?"

2. ### AngChillin' With My Peeps

Jan 2, 2008
West Central Illinois
It's right. Fractional part is singular which is what "is" refers back to. If you take out the phrase "of the pets", it sounds right. That plural "pets" makes it confusing.

Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
3. ### Chickerdoodle13The truth is out there...

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Mar 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
oops, someone answered before I did.

Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
4. ### gogoalieChillin' With My Peeps

May 15, 2010
Alaska
So we take out "of the pets" & ask this "What fractional part is birds" still just doesn't sound correct...this would sound better/correct IMHO: "What fractional part are birds?"...

Thanks yous!

Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
5. ### they'reHISchickensChillin' With My Peeps

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Oct 31, 2008
Reading
if one were to diagram the sentence, the subject of the sentence is actually 'birds' and is plural, hence plural verb. Object is 'part' with modifier(adverb?) 'what' and adjective 'fractional' and adjective phrase to part is 'of the pets'
I think. I haven't diagrammed a sentence in 40 years. Do they still teach that in school with parts of speech?

6. ### nonseqChillin' With My Peeps

Sep 16, 2009
Central Ohio
The subject is "part." The sentence is oddly constructed.

7. ### gogoalieChillin' With My Peeps

May 15, 2010
Alaska
Ok den, would it be wrong to word the sentence like this:

"Which fractional part of the pets, are cats?"

Becuase, if the subject is "part", then it being singular, you can't use "are" but it sounds right...capice?

8. ### Sonoran SilkiesFlock Mistress

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Jan 4, 2009
Tempe, Arizona
How about:

"What fraction of pets are birds?"

"fractional part" is just weird..."the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put."

9. ### joebryantOverrun With Chickens

Some of you need to memorize the list of prepositions:
about above across after against among around at before behind below beside between by down during except for from in inside into of off on out over through to under up upon with ETA There are others; these are just the most common ones.
ETA When you have two words used together as one verb (but contain a "preposition") such as call up, sit down, speak out, etc., those are not really prepositions on the end. These combinations are part of GERMAN grammar that became infused with our grammar.

When you have a preposition, you also will have an object of the preposition, thus a prepositional phrase.
Prepositional phrases are not part of the sentence pattern.

What fractional part of the pets is birds? = What fractional part is birds?

part=N1(subject) is=LV linking verb birds=N1(predicate noun/same as subject) (Note that part and birds are the same thing.)

ETA
BTW, that old rule that says that you should never end a sentence with a preposition is obsolete. It's perfectly correct to separate the preposition and its object in a sentence, e.g., With whom did Mary go? sounds stuffy doesn't it, so... Whom did Mary go with?/Mary went with whom? Both are correct.
"A preposition is something you never end a sentence with."

It is wrong though to say something like Where's it at? because you don't need the at (a preposition), and some smart aleck will say, "It's behind the at." So just say Where is it?

Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
10. ### theoldchickThe Chicken WhispererPremium Member

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May 11, 2010
Fractions. Never liked them. Now, I like them even less.