Which one of these two sentences is correct ?

"Legs is spelled with l" Or "Legs are spelled with l"

closed as off-topic by anongoodnurse, tchrist, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, user66974, Ronan Jun 13 '14 at 8:38

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  • 3
    The full sentence is "(The word) 'legs' is spelled with an l." "Legs" in that sense is singular. Of course, if you are talking about legs, they are plural. "His legs were long." You might be interested in our sister site, ELL. – anongoodnurse Jun 13 '14 at 1:46
  • How can i migrate this question to ell ? – Aditya Jun 13 '14 at 1:49
  • I'll flag it for a moderator to move. – anongoodnurse Jun 13 '14 at 1:50
  • 4
    Moving it to ELL might be appropriate, but I think the problem with the question isn't really misunderstanding English, so much as it is not understanding the distinction between a name and what it names (in any language). But perhaps difficulties understanding English make the use/mention distinction harder to see. – Drew Jun 13 '14 at 2:26

Think about what the sentence says, and even about what a translation of it says in your native language. This is not an English question so much as it is a logic question.

Legs are SOMETHING is a statement about legs (more than one leg, so "are", not "is"). Legs are not things that are spelled -- you do not spell a leg, in any language. You lift a leg or kick with a leg, but you do not spell a leg.

What you really intend is a statement about a word, not a statement about legs. Words are spelled; legs are not. What you really intend is to say something like this:

"Legs" begins with an "l". The things you are talking about here are (a) a (single) word, "legs" and (b) a letter, "l". You are not talking about legs here. You are talking about an (English) name for legs: the word "legs". Since the subject is a single word, the verb needs to be singular: "is", not "are".

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