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Subject in the Singular, Verb in the Plural

950. With singular collective substantives (996) denoting persons and with like words implying a plural, the verb may stand in the plural.

Thus, ““τὸ στρατόπεδον ἐν αἰτίᾳ ἔχοντες τὸν Ἆγιν ἀνεχώρουνthe army returned holding Agis at faultT. 5.60, ““τοιαῦτα ἀκούσα_σα πόλις Ἀ_γησίλα_ον εἵλοντο βασιλέα_the city, after hearing such arguments, chose Agesilaus kingX. H. 3.3.4. So with βουλή senate, μέρος part, πλῆθος multitude, δῆμος people, ὄχλος throng.

951. So with ἕκαστος: τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ἕκαστος καὶ παίδων καὶ χρημάτων ἄρχουσι every man is master of his own children and property X. R. L. 6.1.

952. If ἕκαστος, ἑκάτερος, ἄλλος are added in apposition to a plural subject, the verb generally remains plural: ““ἐγώ τε καὶ σὺ μακρὸν λόγον ἑκάτερος ἀπετείναμενboth you and I have carried on a long controversyP. Pr. 361a. If the verb follows the apposition, it may be singular: οὗτοι μὲν ἄλλος ἄλλα λέγει these say, some one thing, some another X. A. 2.1.15. Cp. 982.

953. A subject in the singular, followed by a clause containing the preposition μετά with, rarely takes a plural verb: ““Ἀλκιβιάδης μετὰ Μαντιθέου ἵππων εὐπορήσαντες ἀπέδρα_σανAlcibiades and Mantitheus escaped because they were well provided with horsesX. H. 1.1.10.

Subject in the Dual, Verb in the Plural

954. The first person dual agrees in form with the first person plural (462).

955. A dual subject may take a plural verb: ““Ξενοφῶντι προσέτρεχον δύο νεα_νίσκωtwo youths ran up to XenophonX. A. 4.3.10. In the orators the dual verb is almost always used.

956. The dual and plural verb may alternate: αἵρεσιν εἱλέτην τε καὶ διεπρά_ξαντο the two souls have made their choice and put it into effect P. Phae. 256c.

957. The neuter dual may be followed by the dual, the plural, or the singular verb (A 104, 200, M 466).

Subject in the Plural, Verb in the Singular

958. A neuter plural subject is regarded as a collective (996), and has its verb in the singular: ““καλὰ ἦν τὰ σφάγιαthe sacrifices were propitiousX. A. 4.3.19.

N.—The neuter plural seems to have been originally in part identical in form with the feminine singular in α_, and to have had a collective meaning.

959. A plural verb may be used when stress is laid on the fact that the neuter plural subject is composed of persons or of several parts: ““τὰ τέλη τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων αὐτὸν ἐξέπεμψανthe Lacedaemonian magistrates despatched himT. 4.88, ““φανερὰ ἦσαν καὶ ἵππων καὶ ἀνθρώπων ἴχνη πολλάmany traces both of horses and of men were plainX. A. 1.7.17.

a. With the above exception Attic regularly uses the singular verb. Homer uses the singular three times as often as the plural, and the plural less frequently with neuter adjectives and pronouns than with substantives. In some cases (B 135) the metre decides the choice.

960. Following the construction of δοκεῖ ταῦτα, we find ““δόξαν ταῦταwhen it had been thus decidedX. A. 4.1.13, and also δόξαντα ταῦτα X. H. 3.2.19. See 2078 a.

961. Pindaric Construction. A masculine or feminine plural subject occasionally is used with ἔστι, ἦν, γίγνεται, as: ““ἔστι καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις πόλεσιν ἄρχοντές τε καὶ δῆμοςthere are in the other cities too rulers and populaceP. R. 462e. The verb usually precedes, and the subject is still undetermined; hence the plural is added as an afterthought. (Cp. Shakesp. “far behind his worth | Comes all the praises.”) In Greek poetry this construction is rarely used with other verbs. On ἔστιν οἵ, see 2513.

a. ἦν was originally plural (464 e. D), and seems to survive in that use.

Subject in the Plural, Verb in the Dual

962. A plural subject may take a dual verb when the subject is a pair or two pairs: αἱ ἵπποι δραμέτην the span of mares ran Ψ 392.

a. This is common when δύο, ἄμφω, ἀμφότεροι are used with a plural subject: ““δύο ἄνδρες προσελθόντε Ἄ_γιδι διελεγέσθην μὴ ποιεῖν μάχηνtwo men coming to Agis urged him not to fightT. 5.59. But even with these words the plural is preferred. The neuter plural with δύο rarely takes the dual verb (P. Tim. 56e).

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