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

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14
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4answers
27k views

Is “staff” plural?

Which one of these two statements is correct? Our staff do ... Our staff does ... Is staffs correct?
14
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12answers
3k views

The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much”

I'd like to know how the sentence "That don't impress me much" sounds to a native English speaker. The phrase is the title of a song by Shania Twain, and to my eyes it contains a clear error. It is ...
20
votes
2answers
19k views

A number of questions “has been” or “have been” asked?

Formally, is it correct to write: A number of questions has been asked here. or: A number of questions have been asked here. As a non-native speaker of English, I would prefer the former: ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

[Singular] Is/Are [Plural]?

My fish's native habitat is rice fields. My fish's native habitat are rice fields. I'm pretty sure the first is correct, since 'is' modifies 'habitat,' but it still sounds weird...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

“There Is”/“There are” depends on plurality of the first list element or not?

It seems I put a stick in the anthill at ELL. Bounty assigned by outside party, two lengthy, reference-citing answers, one "-1" (awarded the bounty), one "-2", two others scored "0" and "-2" ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

“Neither Michael nor Albert is correct” or “Neither Michael nor Albert are correct”?

What is the correct sentence? Neither Michael nor Albert is correct. Neither Michael nor Albert are correct.
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? ...
7
votes
6answers
33k views

“There are so many” vs. “There is so many”

There are so many questions on this website. There is so many questions on this website. The former "sounds right," but the contracted form of the latter does as well: There's so many ...
22
votes
6answers
54k views

Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”?

Bob: "Can I set the font color? Can I customize the text?" Frank: "Neither of these options is available. Sorry!" Is "neither is" always correct or should one use "neither are" in some cases and ...
29
votes
8answers
29k views

“There is/are more than one”. What's the difference?

While adding to an Answer to this question, I needed to use the above phrase, and I suddenly realised I was unsure whether to write "is" or "are". There is more than one way to skin a cat. If there ...
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. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it: My apples and orange are/is wrong?

Simple question: My apples and orange are wrong or My apples and orange is wrong I am not a native English speaker, and I am having some trouble choosing between plural are or singular is ...
18
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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..."?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Does “the same number of people” behave as singular or plural?

This hurts my eyes to read it and my ears to say it, but the writer stands by item #43 About the same number of people was awarded bachelor's degrees in 2010 as filed for personal bankruptcy ...
4
votes
3answers
840 views

Is it “5–6 weeks are a lot of time” or “5–6 weeks is a lot of time”?

I was just copyediting somebody's answer on another SE site and my native English speaker Sprachgefühl told me I had to correct the grammar of one sentence: ... 5–6 weeks are a lot of time ... ...
4
votes
3answers
18k views

“A number of students” vs. “the number of students” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A number of questions “has been” or “have been” asked? From the grammatical view both are correct, but please explain the difference in meaning: ...
17
votes
3answers
71k views

Is “everyone” singular or plural?

Which is correct? Everyone were convinced that he would go to the game. Everyone was convinced that he would go to the game. I think it's "was", because "everyone" is singular, but I just ...
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?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

“A lot of ideas” is or are?

My boyfriend and I are arguing about whether the phrase "a lot of ideas" should be followed with is or are. I say that it should be is because the verb is linking to a lot, not ideas. If it were "lots ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

When a sentence uses an optional plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural?

Consider the following sentence: We assume that the individual(s) possesses some general knowledge of the rules of football. Is "possesses" correct there? Should it be "possess"? Is the rule ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

“A variety of X is” vs. “a variety of X are”

Which of the following sentences is correct? A variety of dishes are being prepared. A variety of dishes is being prepared. I believe that both can be used, though I'd stick with ...
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 ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Subject–verb agreement — two schools of thought?

I wrote a sentence for our web site that was submitted for proofreading. The proofreader "corrected" my sentence. I asked how sure he was that he was correct and that I was incorrect. He explained ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Which is correct: “All the media is” or “all the media are”?

I think I know that media is a plural word. So then which of the following is correct? All the media is... All the media are... When you search Google, both seem to appear at the same ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

“is” vs “are” when followed by a number

I read the following sentence on YouTube and initially thought it was grammatically incorrect: Here are 10 minutes of the movie Black Hawk Down! I thought "are" should have been "is" but then I ...
2
votes
2answers
681 views

Is the past tense correct in “Did you know Fred was a doctor?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: He didn't know where New Jersey was… Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true My wife and I were disagreeing about this today: ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Why “it’s turtles” not “they are turtles”

It is a third person singular and is used to refer to a thing. If that’s the case, then why do we say: A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on ...
4
votes
3answers
375 views

Should we use past tense in “Lugo admitted he is the father”?

In this sentence, should the is be a was? On April 13, 2009, Lugo admitted he is the father of a child conceived with Viviana Carrillo.
10
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3answers
11k views

“Are” vs. “is” with compound subjects

How are the wife and kid? How is the wife and kid? Which is more correct?
12
votes
5answers
19k views

Is “audience” singular or plural?

I want to use 'audience' in the following sentence. In what form should I use it? Is it a singular or plural noun? How the audience demotivate players in the NBA. How the audience demotivates ...
-1
votes
1answer
11k views

Using “are/is” after a list with “and/or” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Singular or plural following a list James and Mark are going to help you. Here, I use 'are' because the subject is plural. James or Mark are going to help you. ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

“My brother or one of my sisters” — singular or plural?

Should I use 'was' or 'were' in this example? I was always delighted when my brother or one of my sisters was/were asked to do them.
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Can “what kind” be plural?

Is it correct to say, "What kind of patents are being issued in these sophisticated times?" It seems like it should be What kind of patents is being issued..., but that sounds wrong. What kind of ...
25
votes
3answers
6k views

Is two-thirds plural?

Is 2/3 always, sometimes or never plural? E.g. 1a) 2/3 of the pizza were eaten. 1b) 2/3 of the pizza was eaten. 2a) 2/3 of the visitors were men. 2b) 2/3 of the visitors was men. I ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Collective nouns and subject-verb agreement: general rule or arbitrary?

A newspaper ran this headline recently: (1) Police crack down on IAC protesters. [emph added] Why did it not read: (2) ? Police cracks down on IAC protesters. I have found instances of ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Correct use of is/are in a list of pronouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “are/is” after a list with “and/or” My company's website recently received an E-mail stating there was a grammatical error in our greeting message. The sentence in ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

“There is a lot of food and fruit” vs. “there are a lot of food and fruit” [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is correct: There is a lot of food and fruit in the supermarket. There are a lot of food and fruit in the supermarket.
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Is “the USA” singular or plural?

On the one side, the USA is just one country. Logic says it should be, then, singular, just like the United Kingdom is. Example: The USA owns this domain. On the other side, if I however expand ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Plural or singular when stating that an amount is enough

A colleague of mine corrected the following sentence in a text I had written: A handful of iterations was generally enough for convergence. According to her it should be: A handful of iterations ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Using a singular or plural verb after “and/or”

If the subject of a sentence is separated by "and/or", should the verb be pluralized, as with "and", or agree with the rightmost subject, as with "or"? For example: His co-workers and/or his boss ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Is the sentence “There is a large number of labourers who want to migrate to Japan for work.” correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A number of questions “has been” or “have been” asked? There is a large number of labourers who want to migrate to Japan for work. I type ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

“1 out of 100 chickens is” or “1 out of 100 chickens are”?

I'm in an argument. To me "are" makes more sense. I understand the rationale for is because it's only one chicken, but chickens itself is plural. Help?
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
3answers
2k views

“Neither is” or “neither are” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”? Which is correct? No, neither of these websites is biased as they give a wide range of informative information ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Correct use of “is” or “are” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Singular or plural following a list Would I use is or are in the following sentence? The Pohutakawa Coast, Hauraki Gulf, and Waiheke Island is/are the backdrop for ...
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.
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to choose verb after “there” in beginning of sentence?

Cambridge "Advanced Grammar in Use" provides following rule in Unit 95C: If the noun phrase consists of two or more nouns in a list, we use a singular verb if the first noun is singular or ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Does “a [x] of [y]” take a singular or plural verb?

What kind of verb, singular or plural, goes with phrases like "a record of [singular or plural noun]", "the use of", "the time of"? Does the choice depend on the following nouns (a record of nouns) or ...