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

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14
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4answers
18k views

Is “staff” plural?

Which one of these two statements is correct? Our staff do ... Our staff does ... Is staffs correct?
13
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12answers
2k 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
16k 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
3k 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...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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.
21
votes
6answers
42k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
22k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
13k 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
11k 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: ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
707 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 ... ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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" ...
6
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
27k 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
45k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
355 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.
6
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
7k 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
3k 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.
11
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
758 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k 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
896 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?
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
546 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
147 views

“She don't care about me”: how to explain this? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” I know the rule, the correct form is: "she doesn't care about me," but I heard it in Lost series, I ...
0
votes
0answers
393 views

“She’s got a ticket to ride, but she don’t care” — why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” In the famous Beatles song Ticket to ride, it is said of the protagonist that “she don’t care”. Why ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

“Will have” vs. “Would have”

By the end of the year, I would have attended this school for five years. Of course, the "most" correct way of writing this would be: By the end of the year, I will have attended this school ...
10
votes
5answers
603 views

What does the door do?

We would like to enlist your help in arbitrating this grammatical dilemma. Given the question: What does the door do? Which of the following options is most correct as a response to the ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

“My last couple of years” — singular or plural?

Should I use "wasn't" or "weren't" in the following sentence? My last couple of years as an Edison Eagle wasn’t all about fighting and bad friendships.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When should I use “is” and when should I use “are”?

I always mixed them up, and use the wrong one on other sites on StackExchange. And the questions is edited by another person. When should I use "is" and when should I use "are"? Sometimes I write ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
5k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it grammatically correct to say "Your barracks is finished.”?

In the online game "Travian" the following sentence is used: "Your barracks is finished. A good step towards world domination.” Shouldn't it be: Your barracks are finished or Your ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

More than 1000 gallons of paint is/are sold each day [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plural/singular verb agreement with units Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural? Can anyone help me determine the correct verb in this ...
8
votes
2answers
608 views

Historical usage of “was”/“were” with “you”

I was reading letters from a surgeon to his wife during the Civil War and noticed he used "was" as opposed to "were" on many occasions. Examples: I truly wish you was here with me. Was you ...
5
votes
3answers
101 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
1answer
2k 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
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 ...