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All Things Is/Are Ephemeral

I know that are is meant to be the verb connecting the two fragments together, but why...? (Gut instinct)

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2 Answers

Because the word "things" is plural. This is the phenomenon known as case agreement, in its grammatical number form.

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The subject "All things" is plural, ergo the verb is plural.

The complement "ephemeral" is an adjective, and so does not inflect for number in English anyway; but even if it were a singular noun, as "All things are a nuisance", "are" would still agree with "all things".

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And what has that to do with my answer? I didn't say that "All x are a y" is always meaningful; I said that if you are going to identify "All X" as "a Y" then "are" is the verb to use. –  Colin Fine Mar 23 '11 at 17:15
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