English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I saw this sentence somewhere, and since I am not native speaker, this seemed weird to me.

The part "are many" made the sentence not complete in my eyes and made it weird. Did they use it correctly?

The techniques and tools we use to defend our castle are many, most of them not available to random people.

Please don't mind that the sentence does not make much sense in general.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't know why you think it sounds weird to you. But in any event, are here refers to techniques and tools, which is a combination of plural nouns and therefore are is the correct form of the verb.

share|improve this answer

Try this out instead:

There are many techniques and tools that we use to defend our castle. Most of them are not available to random people.

The word "many" in your sentence describes the group of "techniques and tools", telling the reader that there are many techniques and tools in that group. "Many" works as an adjective in the sentence.

share|improve this answer
It is and works as a quantifier. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 9 '13 at 15:44

Imagine replacing "many" by a different adjective, for example "secret". Then it reads:

The techniques and tools ... are secret, ...

The usage is just the same with "many", but is less common.

share|improve this answer
Or are legion – mplungjan Jul 9 '13 at 13:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.