# Need we use “sums” in sentences whenever they describe the sum of plural objects? [duplicate]

Need we use sums in the case that the sentence describes the sum of plural objects?

For example, “100 centimeters sums to one meter” versus “100 centimeters sum to one meter”.

They both seem make some senses. For one thing, it is the sum of 100 objects, so it is suitable to use plural. For the other, in spite of how many things summed, the sum itself is a singular, so we’d better to use it in the singular way.

Which side is correct?

• 100 centimetres sum to one metre. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 10:54
• @Shyam Thank you. By the way, why there is a to? Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 10:58
• It is a contraction of '100 cms sum up to give one metre'. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 11:26
• Yes, only there has to be a space between the units of measure and the values (eg "1 cm", "99 cm") and between the unit of measure and the operator and the value (eg "1 cm + 99 cm"), and "m" for "meter/metre" should be "M" rather than "m".
– user21497
Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 12:10
• In the phrase "100 centimeters sums to one meter", the word sums is not a plural, it's a verb. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 13:05

## 1 Answer

You always use the singular:

• Eighteen inches is a foot and a half.
• Four and five is nine.
• Also, `three children makes a family` correct in syntax? Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 14:12
• @Popopo Not usually. That is different.
– tchrist
Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 14:13
• According to standard English, in which cases should we use `sums` and in which cases just `sum`? Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 14:17
• According to the English I use, 100 cm equals, is, or is equivalent to one metre. And that's British English - I'd have thought the 'sums to' expression was American English had Bill not stated otherwise. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 20:28
• @EdwinAshworth I have no idea what this “sums to” is about. I would say it no differently than you would here.
– tchrist
Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 20:42