I was okay with the following sentence the first time I read it:

"...a selection of films that explore..."

Then I realized that the subject of this sentence is probably "a selection" and not "films". However, "...a selection of films that explores" sounds klunky to me.

Which is correct (or more correct)?


3 Answers 3


Both versions could be correct.

A selection of films that explore...

Here, there is a selection of films, each of which explores something. Explore matches the plural films.

A selection of films that explores...

Here, there is a selection of films, but those films are taken together and it is the selection which explores. Explores matches the singular selection.

Both are grammatical, but the first seems more likely to me as the selection was probably made on the basis of each film's exploration of the subject.


The restrictive clause "that explore" modifies "films," so "that" refers to the same plural noun, thus must itself be plural, and must therefore take a plural verb. "Explore" is correct. Had the sentence read

... a selection of films explores

then explores would have been the verb in the clause with "selection," a singular noun, as its subject. And in that case "explores" would have been correct.


I believe both choices are OK , if you are referring to selection of films as a singular noun ( one selection ) which is correct , the verb needs to be " explores " but if you are using selection of films as a collective noun the verb can be either "explore " or " explores " . In all cases , selection is the subject that needs to agree with the verb

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