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This question already has an answer here:

I am unsure of this rule, and would like a straight answer or resource; this is not a peeve. This appears today in google trends: A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social networks could be on the cards. Should not the proper term be suggests since the subject is actually 'set' not 'icons'?

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/hidden-code-hints-new-google-now-features/#ixzz3OdX8zghU

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Jon Hanna, Nick2253, Janus Bahs Jacquet, Drew Jan 13 '15 at 1:53

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  • This question appears to be off-topic because it looks like a peeve. A number of people believe that since "a number" is singular, this sentence should use believes, not believe. But probably only a small number. – FumbleFingers Jan 12 '15 at 19:30
  • ... as in it covers what this covers. – Jon Hanna Jan 12 '15 at 19:33
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Recognizing the validity of the first answer:

set implies a plurality of icons, all suggesting..., so some people use the plural form of the verb. Technically incorrect; still communicates.

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The correct usage when the subject is a singular object — such as A new set — is the corresponding conjugation, which, according to at least two sources, is suggests.

GingerSoftware Grammar Checker and Reverso Grammar checker both correct this as follows:
Source:

A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social networks could be on the cards.

Correction:

A new set of icons suggests that voice-activated sharing to social networks could be on the cards.

So, A new set of icons suggests that voice-activated sharing to social networks could be on the cards. is technically correct, online at least, on a couple of sites at least...

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    Automated grammar checkers are not a reliable guide for English language usage. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 12 '15 at 22:03
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Phrases of the form "a(n) [singular noun denoting a group] of [plural noun]" are sometimes treated as singular, and sometimes as plural. One major factor is the first noun; to take an extreme example, I believe that all forms of English allow "a lot of people agree" and forbid *"a lot of people agrees". Another major factor is the language variety; UK speakers are typically much more willing than US speakers to use a plural verb with a syntactically-singular subject.

In your specific example, I think the deciding question would be — is it the actual set of icons that suggests the change? Or is it the icons in that set? If the latter, then "a new set of icons" will generally be treated as plural.

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