So which is right:

there is an entire gamut of hidden costs associated with it OR

there are an entire gamut of hidden costs associated with it

  • What does your dictionary say? – Dan Bron May 8 '16 at 14:38
  • plural of course. Just not sure that it is the right usage in this context. Is it? thanks – user174222 May 8 '16 at 14:40
  • 1
    Interesting. I can't find a single dictionary licensing 'A gamut of X are ...'. The only comment about plurality is 'singular in form' (ie gamuts is not acceptable). The question hinges on whether 'a gamut of X' is acceptably treated as a compound quantifier, like 'a host of' / 'a wealth of' etc, near-synonymous with 'many'.... – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '16 at 15:14
  • Google Ngrams for 'a wealth/gamut/host of is/are' seem inconclusive. – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '16 at 15:15
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    @Malvolio I can't agree; I wouldn't use it (as I explain above), but the 'musical scale' demand is bordering on the etymological fallacy. The more common metaphorical usage is reasonable here, with denotation extensive range and connotation wide diversity. – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '16 at 16:37

The first is correct, because the number of the verb must agree with the number of the actual subject of the sentence, which is gamut, whereas hidden costs is part of a prepositional phrase modifying gamut.

  • 2
    This has been covered so many times, and your answer shows a lack of understanding. Though majority is a singular-form noun, “The majority of internet users (68%) are happy to provide personal information online” is perfectly acceptable. "A wide range of features is/are available" are both fine. Would you say 'The United States are the third largest country in the world'? – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '16 at 16:30

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