I have this weird question. I got a sentence starting with "the rest of" and while I know it clearly takes a singular verb when it refers to one thing, and also it takes a plural verb when it refers to a group of people or ... . but, everything becomes complicated when we have parenthetical phrases in here.

The rest of this work, including error dynamics, parameter-tunable controller, definition of the constraints, and proof of stability of the adaptive robust controller, have been fully discussed in [25] which further references other important derivations in [28] through [33].


The problem arises with your subject, not your verb. You've boxed yourself in by implicitly qualifying rest with modifiers which cast it as both a singular and a plural:

  • The rest of a single something is singular: a single piece or part or fraction, but

  • including [list] implies that rest is plural, a portion of a longer list and thus a collection of somethings.

This can only be resolved by rewriting to cast your subject unambiguously as either singular or plural. For instance:

  • You can say something like the topics discussed in the rest of this work, including [list], have been discussed...; OR

  • You can say something like the rest of this work, which includes discussion of [list], has been discussed...

  • 1
    I'd set aside the supplementary including PP to establish verb agreement. With non-count quantificational nouns like "rest", the form of the verb is dependent not on the head, but on the noun that is complement to of. Since that is the singular "work", so the verb should be singular "has". Parenthesising the including PP makes that even clearer. – BillJ Sep 15 '16 at 6:48
  • @BillJ Hmm ... 1) I have difficulty treating rest as a quantifcational; but that may be a function of my age. 2) I think the 'parenthesizing' is a red herring: a) there's not an alternative to parenthesizing in this situation, b) the participle does impute number to its head: i) if you fuse The rest of the work to bare The rest, singular have will sound at least awkward, but ii) if you delete rest of, the including clause sounds awkward. – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 15 '16 at 10:38
  • By parenthesising, I meant put the including PP in brackets, or ignore it. What participle? 'Including' is a preposition. Consider 'The rest of the boys are here' vs 'the rest of the meat' is here'. The complement of the prep of determines the verb-form. Same with 'lot' and a few others. – BillJ Sep 15 '16 at 10:52
  • Just take out the PP: "The rest of this work has been fully discussed ..." – BillJ Sep 15 '16 at 10:54
  • @BillJ I agree that without the parenthetical there's no ambiguity; but I'm afraid we're going to have to disagree on a some of these points. 1) As I said, I'm uncomfortable with rest as an ntqn; I think a better comparison is with some of, which takes its number from the count/noncount property of its head. 2) The preposition/participle distinction is irrelevant; I'm perfectly happy allowing including to be treated as both-at-the-same-time. ... – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 15 '16 at 11:54

'of this work' and 'including ...' do not affect the agreement (parity) of the verb. The subject noun is 'the rest', which is not plural, so you should use 'has' instead of 'have'.

  • 2
    Half right, half wrong. It's true that “including…” doesn't affect agreement here, but “of this work” does. Had it said “of these works”, the verb should have been plural: “the rest of these works… have been fully discussed”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 14 '16 at 22:49
  • 1
    Excellent point! - words like 'rest' or 'remainder' inherit the plurality of the noun in the PP, while discrete nouns do not ('The name of these works has been changed.') – AmI Sep 14 '16 at 23:06

I disagree with changing work to works. If only one work is being referenced, that should remain singular.

Rest is a collective noun in this context and therefore should be followed with has. Has is not in reference to work but rest (or remainder or what's left).

You can always revise and include a word that better unilaterally describes what you list as the "rest"

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