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Which one is grammatically correct?

  1. One hour and a half is all you have left.
  2. One hour and a half are all you have left.
  3. Two hours is all you have left.
  4. Two hours are all you have left.

And why?

marked as duplicate by JSBձոգչ, Edwin Ashworth, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Hellion, Brian Hooper Oct 17 '13 at 22:05

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  • Is this from a standardized test? – Mitch Oct 17 '13 at 14:21

The amount of time is a single unit even though it is expressed by describing an aggregated number of units of time. When that amount is the subject of the sentence or clause, it takes a singular verb.


Two hours is a single unit of time, so would take a singular verb; it refers to the whole time span that lasts 120 minutes. However, if you split the two hours and make them distinct you would need a plural.

Two hours, one today and one next week, are needed to complete the test.

The difference is that the hours are distinct rather than part of a single time span.

Also, the English idiom would be "one and a half hours" rather than "one hour and a half."

  • 1
    The most common English expression for 1.5 hours is "an hour and a half". See Ngrams. – Peter Shor Jun 11 '14 at 3:33

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