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Making adult decisions are/is really not fun.

What is the proper answer and why? My gut says "is" but I can't explain why.

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3 Answers 3

You are probably confused by adult decisions, which is plural. But that is irrelevant, as it is not the subject of the sentence. It would be if the sentence were

Adult decisions are really not fun.

Then, the plural are would be appropriate. However, in the sentence

Making adult decisions is really not fun.

the subject is "making adult decisions". The head of that phrase, making, is singular. Thus, the phrase as a whole is singular. Thus, is is correct (and are would be ungrammatical).

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is is correct and are are ungrammatical... –  PSU Mar 31 '11 at 20:54

Making adult decisions is a gerund, i.e. a noun, and is the subject of the sentence. It is singular, so the singular copula is appropriate.

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+1 for gerund! I think I finally get what it means. –  Matt Эллен Mar 31 '11 at 19:32

Making adult decisions is a singular noun phrase, as its head is the singular noun, making (a gerund). Thus, the singular is is the correct form to use here:

Making adult decisions is really not fun.

Alternative form:

The process of making adult decisions is really not fun.

In the second example, the subject of the sentence remains a singular noun phrase (the process of making adult decisions), as the singular the process is its head.

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