In the sentence,

Tell me if opinions are something I should steer away from.

Is the use of "are" before "something" correct?

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    Fred is something else. You are something else. – Hot Licks Nov 28 '15 at 23:01
  • @HotLicks It works with you are something else, since you may well refer to a single individual. I might also say they are something else when referring to a football team - where in Britain teams are plural. There may well be other cases where plural noun are something is idiomatic. But I don't think I would say opinions are something I should steer away from. It would need to be opinion is something..., or opinions are things.... – WS2 Nov 28 '15 at 23:47
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    @WS2 My opinions on that topic are not something I wish to discuss. – Hot Licks Nov 28 '15 at 23:53
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    @HotLicks Interesting how that one works. I even think I'd say it without the negative My opinions on that topic are something I would like to discuss. It seems to me that the subject in relation to the verb, and the singular/plural agreement of something are being governed differently. Definitely one which calls for a grammar expert. I'm just a native speaker who instinctively knows what sounds right and what doesn't. – WS2 Nov 29 '15 at 0:04

In English, the subject and verb in a sentence should "agree" with each other. This is called, unsurprisingly, "subject verb agreement." For example, "I asked Bob if he is a teacher." It would not be correct to use "are" because it doesn't agree with it's subject "Bob." Like wise, "Is you a teacher?" isn't correct because "is" doesn't agree with its subject "you."

In your sentence, Tell me if opinions are something I should steer away from. the verb "are" agrees with its subject "opinions." Notice that the sentence starts with "tell" which agrees with "you."

Something is a word that talks about an unspecified or undetermined thing, and as a subject takes a singular verb:

"Something is wrong with my car." "I asked him if there was something wrong with my presentation."

The difficulty with your sentence is that you have a plural subject, "opinions" being connected with the copula "are" to a renaming complement that is undefined. It would probably be better to say "Opinions are things I should steer away from." I say "probably" because in speech, I'm pretty sure this is common.

For uncountables "is" is used, "Bread is something I love to eat." or "Water is something you can't live without."

If the subject is "there" or "it" the verb will change, "There is something strange about his book," "It is something I hate doing," however, "There are some things wrong with your presentation." or "There are some interesting things to think about in your paper."

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