Agreement between a verb and its subject for number and person.

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10
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5answers
3k views

“Was” or “were” for “half a dozen”

In Microsoft Word, the following sentence is flagged. It tells me to use "was" instead of "were" There were half a dozen books strewn about the floor. I would think that you would use "were" ...
18
votes
4answers
34k views

Which is correct: “one or more is” or “one or more are”?

Should the phrase be "one or more is...", or "one or more are..."?
10
votes
4answers
7k views

“Are either of you free?”

In the process of writing to two people I typed: "Are either of you free?" and was immediately called out by my grammar checker which suggested I should write: "Is either of you free?" The second of ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Should we say “they are high enough as they are” or “they are high enough as it is.”?

I've heard on TV: "We really hope property taxes won't be increased; they are high enough as they are." Would it be ungrammatical to say "...they are high enough as it is."?
1
vote
0answers
111 views

“There is” vs “there are”?

I wrote an essay and returned it to my teacher who told me that it was perfect except for that one mistake with the usage of there are: There are currently 192 218 546 ways to set up..." She ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

“Who is Lisa friends with?” or “Who are Lisa friends with?” [migrated]

Is it correct to ask Who is Lisa friends with? or should it be Who are Lisa friends with?
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Subject-Verb Agreement with “Who” [duplicate]

Which one is correct? He is one of the boys who play football. He is one of the boys who plays football. Please state the reason as well.
1
vote
2answers
96 views

“One of the children who was” vs. “one of the children who were”

In the construction "one of the [plural noun] who ...", should the verb agree with "one" or "[plural noun]"? For example, which of the two following sentences is grammatically correct? Or are both ...
12
votes
4answers
15k views

There are no comments / There is no comment

Which is correct? * "There are no comments." * "There is no comment." Which would you use for a web application, i.e. what to display when a blog post or an article has no comment attached? ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

“Where is” versus “where are”

Is it correct to use is rather than are in this question? Where is my mother and father? Grammatically, it should be where are my mother and father? but, for some strange reason, I think I would ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Can an institution “attest to its highest academic standards”? Is that kind of attesting something only a person can do?

My full quotation is for a formal letter to a university president, congratulating her on becoming president. "Under your leadership, I believe that Anytown University will continue to attest to its ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Bread and butter is/are my breakfast?

Bread and butter (is or are) my breakfast? And what's the difference between the above sentence and saying "My breakfast is bread and butter"? Thanks.
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Agreement of subject and predicate [duplicate]

can someone explain this rule to me, please? A few collective nouns (public,infantry etc) occur in the singular, but are followed as a rule by a plural verb, though a singular verb is also ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Shouldn’t we use “lots of” with plural nouns and “a lot of” with singular ones?

Is it correct to say "there are a lot of aspects" like here (see the first comment) or here? Shouldn't be "lots of" used instead? I was sure that the correct form is "lots of" for the plural form.
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

American English: collective noun + verb when collective noun is plural? [duplicate]

I'm struggling with grammar and the name of a group of clinics; let's say that there are five dental clinics colocated in the same building, and the name of that group is Foo Dental Clinics. There's a ...
5
votes
3answers
429 views

Confusing rule about subject-verb agreement

I am currently working through "The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation" by Jane Straus. In the section on subject-verb agreement the author describes a rule for sentences that begin with "there" or ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

“Most of what” and “is” or “are”

I've gotten into an argument about whether "Most of what I've read is books" or "Most of what I've read are books" is correct. I think it should be "is" because "most of" refers to "what I've read" ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

“Behead” or “beheads”?

My question is about the use of the form "beheads" in the following sentence from Victor Davis Hanson's essay "Are the Orcs Winning?": In contrast, Hamas only drives Christians out of Gaza rather ...
4
votes
4answers
724 views

“When all you hear is fear and lies”

The first time I heard it (When You Believe by Leon Jackson), my grammar instinct screamed "When all you hear are fear and lies." But then again, I feel that the phrase "all you hear are" sounds a ...
6
votes
3answers
119 views

Verb agreement in “Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?”

Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom? I think it should be "Where are the Messiah and his kingdom"; it just sounds better! But my friends and even a teacher claim that "is" would be correct.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Singular verb for two subjects? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: [Singular] Is/Are [Plural]? Singular or plural following a list Verb agreement in “Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?” I am having trouble with the following ...
-1
votes
3answers
7k views

“Need” vs. “needs” after a list [duplicate]

Is it need or needs? Highway 68 and Robinson Canyon Road need your support. Highway 68 and Robinson Canyon Road needs your support. I voted needs.
3
votes
1answer
598 views

Why is the sentence “The sheep 'stray' when the gate is left open” incorrect? [closed]

The sentence should be written as "The sheep strays when the gate is left open". Does the use of the definite article, the, always makes the grammar number singular?
4
votes
1answer
64 views

'is' or 'are' in lists of counted nouns [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? Does the is/are depend on the total number of things in the list, or only on the thing immediately following the is/are? There is 1 apple and 1 orange available. ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

The process creates the prize? [closed]

I would like to know which one of the sentences is correct and why? The process create the prize. or The process creates the prize.
18
votes
5answers
14k views

“Which one is you?” vs “Which one are you?”

Imagine I'm looking at a photo containing a number of people's faces and I can't tell which one belongs to a certain friend of mine. I could ask him one of two things: "Which one is you?" or ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Compound subject whose parts are joined by “and” and verb agreement : when is the singular correct?

I am in doubt as to whether the subject-verb agreement of the second sentence of this paragraph is correct : Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the ideal home workshop because most people ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Controversy over verb choice in “neither you nor I {is/am/are} in control”

I was watching the film A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude law when this line came up, "...neither you nor I is in control..." (I can’t remember the exact words that ended the ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

“What tools is everybody using?” or “What tools are everybody using?” [closed]

I often see "What tools is/are everybody using?" and other sentences of same form used with both is and are. Which one is the correct way to write the question? What tools is everybody using? ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Subject-Verb Agreement - was/were [duplicate]

A bag of carrots and half a tomato "was/were" sitting on the kitchen counter. A bag of carrots and half a tomato was sitting on the kitchen counter. Is this correct? I was informed that the main ...
6
votes
2answers
270 views

“Her whole family IS/ARE biologists”? [duplicate]

I'm not sure whether to put is (number agreeing with the singular her whole family) or are (number agreeing with plural biologists) in this sentence: Her whole family is/are biologists. After ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

“Becomes” or “Become” in this sentence? [duplicate]

Many small companies have difficulty growing because the number of orders becomes too large to handle. Should I use become or becomes in this sentence? I don't know, but the sentence feels a ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Noun adjuncts and modifying phrases

Noun adjuncts are nouns acting like adjectives, such as "animal" in "Animal Farm." And some words, for example, "privileges of rank" is the same as "rank privileges." But I am confused when 'the' is ...
-1
votes
1answer
174 views

Correcting the usage of singular “they” and “their”

NB This is not a question on how to use the said terms. This is not a question on what the said term mean. It might just seems like so. Starting with the following sentences. It's insulting that ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Number agreement of verb with plural algorithm name as subject

Should I say: Geodesic Active Contours (GAC) are a method for shape approximation that have demonstrated excellent performance for abdominal wall segmentation. Or: Geodesic Active Contours ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Should I use “is” or “are” with “any of X”?

Please log a CIP if ANY of the following is required to make the change: Please log a CIP if ANY of the following are required to make the change: I believe it should be are; but am I ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

is “How is conditions being unfair not an issue?” grammatically correct?

I wrote "How is conditions being unfair not an issue?" instead of "How are conditions being unfair not an issue?" as I believe the subject of the sentence is 'conditions being unfair' rather than ...
0
votes
1answer
166 views

“Two are better than one” or “Two is better than one”?

I just came across the phrase "Two are better than one", but I had always heard it in my head as "Two is better than one". This is partially due to the Boys Like Girls song. Which one of these is ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

How to conjugate a verb with multiple subjects [closed]

Say you have the following sentence: Alice (and her family) [some present-tense inflection of the verb be]. . . . How do you conjugate be here? It refers both to Alice and "her family". Thus ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

When should we use proximity rule in “either/or”, and “neither/nor”?

According to this link, if at least one of the nouns involved is plural then it should take the plural form of the verb. Otherwise, it should take the singular form of the verb. But in the last part ...
-2
votes
2answers
29 views

which one of the following phrase is correct? [closed]

Which phrase is correct? The shipped order has been dropped The shipped order have been dropped
1
vote
2answers
366 views

Is “He don't mean it” correct? [duplicate]

When I was reading the book Because of Winn-Dixie, on page 89 I found a paragraph as follows: "Oh, lay off her," Dunlap said to Stevie. Then he turned to me. "He don't mean it," he said. Can ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Nouns in a series with singular or plural verb? [duplicate]

Which is correct? Cultivation, possession, and distribution of corn is ... Or Cultivation, possession, and distribution of corn are ...
1
vote
2answers
948 views

“Is” vs. “Are” when using the word “Pair” in a mathematical setting

I've seen equally good arguments for and against using "is" for this sentence. The pair of polynomials (f,g) is/are related by the reciprocity law. Which verb is used correctly?
0
votes
3answers
839 views

There is (there's) vs.There are

What are the roots of the creeping usage of "there's" for both singular and plural predicates? (This seems to be more common in spoken English.) I have 2 theories. Perhaps it is because spoken ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can a singular or plural verb (“is” or “are”) be used when the subject is a coordination? [duplicate]

In the sentence: The dimensions and shape is/are a little different than the rest. Should I be using 'is' or 'are', or can either be used?
8
votes
3answers
16k views

“A total of 10 babies is…” vs. “a total of 10 babies are…” vs. “Ten babies in total are…”

Which one is the correct one? A total of 10 babies is sleeping. (A) A total of 10 babies are sleeping. (B) Ten babies in total are sleeping. (C) For me, both (A) and (C) are correct. ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

“This facility has/have a new administrator” [closed]

"This facility has a new administrator" — is this correct? Or should it be "this facility have a new administrator"?
8
votes
5answers
10k views

Is “a total of 10 payments” singular or plural?

A total of 10 payments were made. OR A total of 10 payments was made. Which is correct? Or can both be correct?
3
votes
2answers
98 views

“It's one of the best films that has/have ever been made.”

In the sentence "It's one of the best films that has/have ever been made." what should the verb agreement be ?