Submitted by Dyske  •  November 11, 2002

Matching Numbers

“These computers come with a 40GB hard drive” Or “These computers come with 40GB hard drives.” Which is correct? If both, which is preferred? Or what are the different implications?

Comments Sort by:   Oldest first  •  Latest first  •  Rating

"These computers EACH come with a 40GB drive"

-or-

"These computers come with 40GB drives."

The first is preferable, the second is ambiguous.

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

"These computers EACH come with a 40GB drive"
When you put "each", you don't need to make the verb singular? i.e. "comes".

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

The first is more exact because it states that they come with "a" hard drive, meaning one hard drive. The second statement leads one to ponder if they come with more than one hard drive per computer.

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

Nope Dyske.

"These computers each come with a 40GB drive" is correct, since the subject is 'these computers' is the subject, and it's plural.

"Each of these computers comes with a 40GB drive" is correct as well. The subject is "each of..." which is singular, and therefore you'd use comes.

This site would be great in studying for the SAT II writing test.

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

the second one you posted is correct.

think about it in this way:

strip out all the descriptives:

"These come with a hard drive"
Or
"These come with hard drives."

then you see that the subject is "these", which is a plural pronoun. hence, the second one is correct, the first incorrect.

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

dyske asked:

"These computers EACH come with a 40GB drive"
When you put "each", you don't need to make the verb singular? i.e. "comes".


No, "comes" would be incorrect, since you are still specifying a plural number of computers by using These and computerS. If you were to say "This computer" you would then say "comes with...". But "each" does not change the fact that the original sentence is still in a plural state. You would say "These computers each come with a 40GB drive.", and same with "Each of these computers come with a 40GB drive."


Also, while the original sentences "These computers come with a 40GB hard drive" and "These computers come with 40GB hard drives." are understandable, i think neither of them are actually correct. The first one makes it sound like they all come with one hard drive, whereas the second one would make it unclear how many drives actually came with each computer. It could be thought that each computer has multiple drives. This is why you would use the word each as above, such as "Each of these computers come with a 40GB hard drive". However, all should be understandable to most people with good understanding of such things.

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

The second is correct. The first is illogical: it implies that all the computers share a single drive, which is plainly not waht is intended. Each has its own HD.

And bluepxl, it's "neither of them is", not "neither of them are".

:-)

0 vote Vote!  •  URL to this comment  •  Report Abuse

Your Comment