Recently I read a sentence -

The French Rooms, at least until modern periods are reached, are a demonstration that in the sphere of aesthetics, science does not produce the greatest artists - that something other than intelligent interest and technical accomplishment are requisite to that end, and that system is fatal to spontaneity.

I am not sure if 'are' instead of 'is' should be used since it is referring to 'that something other' which seems to be clearly singular. So what should it be?

  • Yes, it should be is. Such grammatical slips are an occupational hazard of the writer who produces complex, unwieldy sentences like the one you quoted. – Pitarou Oct 16 '13 at 3:34

You're right. It is singular, and so the verb should be is. The writer was clearly, and wrongly, influenced to choose are by the proximity of the coordinated intelligent interest and technical accomplishment.

That apart, the sentence is not well constructed. The reader is distracted from the start by the strange use of capital letters in french Room.

  • oh the french rooms is a typo..I'll correct it. – Suy Oct 15 '13 at 16:40

The "French Rooms" could be referring to a specific set of rooms in a specific house, in which case capitalization is OK. But the sentence is still pretty clumsy.

"... something other than intelligent interest and technical accomplishment is requisite to" clear writing.

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