Given below is a sentence with three underlined parts labelled (a), (b) and (c). Find out whether there is any error in any of these parts. If you find no error, your response should be indicated as (d): Many a man has succumbed to his temptation. No error (a) (b) (c) (d) A. a B. b C. c D. d
Hint: We need to understand whether there is a subject verb agreement error or not since ‘many’ is a plural form of subject whereas ‘man’ and ‘has’ indicate a singular noun and verb respectively. However, the phrase ‘many a’ stands for ‘a large number’ of something.
Complete step by step solution: Option a – Many a man: ‘Many a’ is a term used to indicate a large number of the object being talked about, however, it takes the singular form of the subject and hence the whole clause is treated as singular. Example: “Many a good man has been killed in the terrorist attack.” Option b – has succumbed: ‘Has’ is a singular verb. Many, from the part in option ‘a’ may give an illusion of a plural subject. However, the term is singular as already explained. Hence, ‘has’ is correctly used here. Option c – to his temptation: Succumb means to accept defeat or to yield before something. This verb is always followed by the preposition ‘to’. Hence ‘Succumb to his temptation’ would mean ‘to yield before one’s desire’ Example: I succumb to the temptation of the thought of going to London. Option d – No Error: As discussed above in the options a, b & c, the sentence doesn’t have any error. Hence ‘No error’ is the suitable choice here.
Thus, the correct option is ‘d’ as the sentence – Many a man has succumbed to his temptation – has no error.
Note: The term ‘Many a’ is a phrase used with many objects and gives a singular sense (though meaning a large number of something). Like, many a man, many a time, many a student etc. and will always be followed by a singular noun and a singular verb eventually.