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Hi Grammar Exchange members!

It's been a while since I posted a question last time.

The following sentence is from an article in the Washington Post.

a. Teen mental health is a major concern for today's parents, and for good reason: More than 1 in 3 high-schoolers say they've felt persistent sadness or hopelessness, and roughly 1 in 5 reports having seriously considered suicide.

As far as I know, '3 high-schoolers' in the phrase 'more than 1 in 3 high-schoolers' is a subject in the sentence, so the verb is 'say', not 'says.'

Then what about this part 'roughly 1 in 5 reports'? Let me paraphrase the sentence including the part to see it more clearly.

b. Roughly 1 in 5 high-schoolers reports they've seriously considered suicide.

In b, '5 high-schoolers' is a subject, so the verb should be 'report' I think.

What do you think? Am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by KDog
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Hi, KDog—The head noun in the subjects "one in three high-schoolers" and "one in five high-schoolers" is "one." The preposition "in" introduces a prepositional phrase which modifies the head noun. The head noun being singular, it takes a singular verb. But many native speakers make errors here.

Thank you for enlightening me!

You're right in thinking that "in 3 high-schoolers" and "in 5 high-schoolers" are prepositional phrases. I didn't think about that.

Thanks again for your reply!


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