Have or Has ??

Please help, Should be :
next shift has to replace switch or
next shift have to replace switch ?????

Comments

  • Hi @Peter7,

    As regards the verb, it depends on who/what "the next shift" is. Either form could be considered correct depending on whether you see the "shift" as a single entity or as a collective term for group of individuals who happen to be working the same hours. This is the same debate that often rages about words like team. I think the main thing is to be consistent in your usage, but you'll probably always have some people who take the other view and think what you've written looks wrong.

    On a related note, you seem to be missing an article "...replace the switch" or "...replace a switch", perhaps. What you wrote would probably be acceptable in a scribbled note but the article would be required in a more complete/formal written context.

  • On reflection, maybe a better construction would be: the next shift must replace the/a switch.

    This would scan equally well however you interpret the word shift.

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited March 6

    I agree with Amos that the auxiliary must is usually better. But we should also consider will have to. I also agree that shift and switch are not acceptable without an article. Almost certainly, the writer means the next shift. And I think it's likely that he/she also means the switch.

    As usual, the problem is that we can't solve a grammar problem by looking at just one sentence.

    • We need to know where this replacement will be necessary. This will explain what the writer means by 'next' and 'shif't. My guess is that there is a factory/workshop-type situation, and that shift is used in the sense of people working for part of the day. If my guess is right, then the grammar demands the next shift. Because shift in this sense refers to a number of people, British English would be happy with PLURAL have to. American English tends to prefer SINGULAR when the subject is a singular noun.

    • We need to know whether the switch in question has been mentioned (directly or indirectly). If so, the grammar demands the switch. If this is the first mention, then (as Amos suggests) the grammar demands a switch. And the reader will expect the writer to explain — either by describing the name or function of the switch or by using the phrase a faulty switch.

    • We need to know why the writer is telling us about it. Some possibilities:

    1 It's a warning that because of production problem, the next shift can't start in the usual way.
    The next shift must replace the switch.
    (assuming that the switch has already been mentioned directly or indirectly)
    The next shift must replace a switch, one which controls ...
    The next shift must replace a faulty switch .

    2 It's an explanation that that because of production problem, the next shift is preparing to start in a different way.
    The next shift has/have to replace the switch.
    (assuming that the switch has already been mentioned directly or indirectly)
    The next shift has/have to replace a switch, one which controls ...
    The next shift has/have to replace a faulty switch.

    3 There's a production problem which can't be fixed by the current shift.
    The next shift will have to replace the switch.
    (assuming that the switch has already been mentioned directly or indirectly)
    The next shift will have to replace a switch, one which controls ...
    The next shift will have to replace a faulty switch.

    OK, I can think of a situation when the grammar doesn't demand the shift. If the problem is not so urgent that the very next shift must replace the switch, then you could say
    A future shift will have to replace the switch.
    Some future shift will have to replace the switch.

    although I'd prefer
    The switch will have to be replaced by a future shift.
    The switch will have to be replaced by some future shift.

  • I have read all you wrote about this to me. Morning shift at work leaves some job for another let's say night shift. Switch is only some activity which wasn't completed yet and of course should be done asap. I will try to use a question like that :
    next shift (has/have) to replace that switch. In this case have or has. Thanks guys for a detailed explanation. Appreciation. I'm no native in this language and that's why i ask ? :)

  • Hi @Peter7,

    In that situation, you can use a few different constructions; the simplest would take the form of a to do list, which would do away with many of the grammatical quirks which can trip you up when writing full sentences:

    Night Shift
    To do:

    • Replace XXXX switch (prefix with please to sound properly English!)
    • Any other items.
  • Peter7Peter7
    edited March 8

    Ok but still nobody answered which one is correct has or have ? In this sentence

  • Hi @Peter7,

    We are offering alternatives because both forms could be either fine or odd depending on who is reading the note and so finding a suitable alternative that pleases everyone would be better.

    I mentioned in my original reply that:

    Either form could be considered correct depending on whether you see the "shift" as a single entity or as a collective term for group of individuals who happen to be working the same hours.

    @DavidCrosbie gave us both a bit more insight, saying:

    Because shift in this sense refers to a number of people, British English would be happy with PLURAL have to. American English tends to prefer SINGULAR when the subject is a singular noun.

    So, in very general terms, Brits would say "the next shift have_to..." and Americans would say "the next shift _has to...". However, you are likely to come across a number of people on both sides of the Atlantic who will disagree. Far safer to use a different word entirely.

  • As Amos says @Peter7

    Far safer to use a different word entirely.

    And far, far safer to use the next shift.

    The formula next TIME NOUN meaning 'the next one from now' is limited to very few nouns.

    We can say next time but not next occasion or next occurrence or next turn or next go or next performance.

    So we certainly can't say next shift. This is doubly true because shift refers to a group of people as well as a period of time.

    We can say next week or next month or next year or next century, but not next second or next minute. (We have to use a different construction: in a second, in a minute.)

    For 'the next day from now' we say 'tomorrow'. Yes, we sometimes say next day but in a difference sense. It's a story-telling link meaning 'on the next day after that'.

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