Could you tell me, what is the correct form?

"The most preferable length of the internship is/ are 3 months but 2 is/are also acceptable"

My intuition tells me that should be 'is' but 'are' seems to be more proper for number 3.

  • Nicole's answer is true, but you should note that your is/ares relate to length and there is no cause for confusion. – Tushar Raj May 12 '15 at 19:16
  • No, you don't say the most preferable. You say the preferred; it's not the addressee's preference you're discussing, it's your preference. Get that straight right away. As for is/was, the subject is length, which is singular. English auxiliary verbs like be agree with their subjects; "3 months" is the predicate noun phrase, not the subject. The auxiliary be is required for predicate nouns: That man is an impostor; his shoe size is 7, not 9. – John Lawler May 12 '15 at 19:26

When numbers are used to talk about time, cost, or distance they are singular because the whole thing is taken as one concept:

  • The preferable length of the internship is three months.

  • Three hours feels like forever when you're just sitting there.

  • Fifty dollars is a lot for one book.

  • Three miles is a long way to go on foot.


"The most preferable length of the internship is three months, but two is also acceptable"

Generally, we should spell the numbers from 0-9. And I think a comma should come before the conjunction "but."

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