From The Desk Of Wale Adenaya



1. WHEREABOUTS or WHEREABOUT?

The correct word is WHEREABOUTS ✔ as WHEREABOUT ❌ does not exist.

WHEREABOUTS as a noun can take singular or plural verbs.
e.g. in a sentence such as:

** Their whereabouts are/is still a mystery. ✔

** My whereabouts has / have not been disclosed. ✔

If you used any of ARE or IS, HAS or HAVE as found in the two sentences above, you would be correct.

WHEREABOUTS is an uncountable noun that can take either of singular or plural verbs.

WHEREABOUTS can also be an ADVERB.

As an ADVERB it is used to ask the general area where somebody or something is:

** Whereabouts did he find her?

2. SEVERAL and SEVERALLY

These two words have often been wrongly used by many of us.

SEVERAL can be a determiner, a pronoun or and adjective.

As a det. pronoun, it means more than two but not many:

** Several newspapers arrived early this morning.

** I have read several books by this author.

SEVERAL as an ADJECTIVE means SEPARATE: e.g.

** They greeted and went their several (SEPARATE) ways.

SEVERALLY is an ADVERB meaning, SEPARATELY...

Let's examine the use of the word SEVERALLY in the two sentences below.

** I have told him SEVERALLY that smoking is bad for him...

** He has been warned SEVERALLY to stop beating his wife...

The writer or speaker apparently wanted to suggest the number of times he has told or warned the persons referred to in the sentences.

However, the word SEVERALLY is useless in the two sentences examined above as long as it is intended to suggest number of TIMES ...

SEVERALLY can best be used thus:

** The issues can be examined SEVERALLY, (SEPARATELY) or as a whole.

** The cases were considered SEVERALLY (SEPARATELY) by the judge.

Folks, let's desist from using SEVERALLY to suggest LOT of...

3. A NUMBER OF... versus THE NUMBER OF...

A NUMBER of should be used with a plural verb.

Look at it this way: A NUMBER OF equates to the word: THEY or SOME

** A number of boys BUY tickets at the game daily.

** A number of cats in our neighborhood actually LIKE the old woman.

3 (b) When using THE NUMBER OF, use a singular verb.

THE NUMBER OF is equal to the word IT

** The number of unemployed people HAS increased

** The number of homeless people in our country HAS grown over the past years.

Folks, this is where we say our goodbyes for today's session

Once again, accept my apologies for not being available last Sunday.

REFERENCE

OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNER'S DICTIONARY, 9TH EDITION

_Only the Living LEARN...

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