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Are units in English singular or plural?

I want to say:

Those sixty dollars are gone

That sixty dollars is gone

The reason I ask is because I was originally typing:

Those $60 are gone

But that looks funny to me. Which is more correct?

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marked as duplicate by jwpat7, waiwai933 Jun 16 '12 at 23:50

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
    
I would suggest that a monetary amount written numerically with a currency symbol behaves grammatically as would a single bank note of that amount. By contrast, something written out as "sixty dollars" may either be function grammatically as a single sixty-dollar note, or as sixty individual dollars. –  supercat May 1 at 7:04

3 Answers 3

Plural if you're thinking of the $60 as 60 individual dollars, singular if you're thinking of the sum of money as a whole.

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Those sixty dollars are gone

That sixty dollars is gone

I believe that both those and that work when the amount is spelled out, but just as you've written them as PeterShor and Barrie have said with plural and singular verb agreement.

Those sixty dollars were supposed to be my ticket out of this town, and now they're sailing away on a strong southern breeze.

That sixty dollars was supposed to be my ticket out of this town, and now it's sailing away on a strong southern breeze.

Those $60 are gone

When the amount is presented as currency, I believe that is the better choice.

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@PeterShor ah yes; that distinction didn't catch my attention. :x –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 16 '12 at 16:01
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I think if you say those you have to use plural, and if you say that, you have to use singular. –  Peter Shor Jun 16 '12 at 16:52

Maybe you thing "Those $60 are gone" looks funny because the symbol "$" substitutes the word "dollars", and the symbol doesn't require a plural, but the expression is correct. I'd say that a possible use of the singular version could be when talking about some amount of money that could be a single dollar bill, for example, $10. Then, you could say "That $10 is gone".

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