Is this sentence correct?

What does the comments say?

I'm a web developer so I think of "comments" on a webpage as a singular component. So referring to a story on a website that was posted, I asked, "What does the comments say?" Comments are a big part of this website, which makes them feel like a singular noun to me.


No, it is not grammatically correct. It should be What do the comments say?

If you want to refer to a particular web-page component, then do so by name or description.

For example: You can say What is said in section Comments? if there is a section named Comments. Or you can say What is said in the comments section? if not (and if there is only one section for comments). The particular section or kind of section is made clear by saying that it is the section for comments. You can also say What does the comments section say?. And you can also say What is said in the comments?, which does not refer to a comments section as such.

There are many ways to correctly say what you want to say. What does the comments say? is not one of them.

  • @oerkelens: Uh, yes. But did I say anything about subject, including anything about section being the subject? (No.) Both of the questions you cite are grammatically correct, and they mean the same thing.
    – Drew
    Jul 30 '14 at 15:49
  • Sorry, my bad. Let me rephrase it. What does the object in a sentence have to do with the grammatical number of the verb? If you want to illustrate you - valid - point, it would be much clearer to use a singular subject, as in What does the comments section say? I mean, even without section I can still ask What is said in the comments?
    – oerkelens
    Jul 30 '14 at 15:51
  • @oerkelens I never said anything about the object determining the verb number. The answer I gave was What do the comments say?. In addition to that answer, I gave a couple examples of ways to talk about a "Comments" section. And yes, What does the Comments section say? is fine too.
    – Drew
    Jul 30 '14 at 15:55
  • This said, for developers there are many things that aren't "grammatical" in a scope outside of development, but that are perfectly fine when referring to development and talking to other developers. I see no problem with this at all.
    – user85526
    Jul 30 '14 at 15:55
  • @GeorgeCapote If you see no problem then fine. If someone asks whether it is grammatically correct then the answer is no. Developers can of course communicate using any ways they like - and they do. There are ways that some developers communicate (or try to) that do not work so well, even when they try to communicate only with other developers - even with developers they know well who are in the same room. ;-)
    – Drew
    Jul 30 '14 at 16:00

If you really want to ask the question that way, you must say:

What does the comments module/section say?

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