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I was told the sentence "Today's lunch was sandwiches", should be "Today's lunch were sandwiches", but I don't think this is correct.

However, when I switch the order I end up with this:

Sandwiches were today's lunch.

Therefore, because "were" seems appropriate here, I thought maybe "were" is correct in the above example as well.

However, no matter how many times I try to convince myself, "Today's lunch were sandwiches" just sounds wrong.

Is there ever a case where "Today's lunch were ~" is correct?

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    The person who told you that was wrong. "Today's lunch were sandwiches" is not correct.
    – herisson
    Jan 30, 2017 at 5:07

1 Answer 1

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Your problem is numerical agreement. The verb and the subject must either both be plural or both be singular.

Sandwich were today's lunch <-- this is bad! It probably feels bad the same way the 'correction' felt bad! That's because it is also wrong because 'Sandwich' and 'were' don't agree.

Sandwiches were today's lunch <-- plural and plural are fine, this sentence is good.

Today's lunch was sandwiches <-- this is fine. Lunch is singular and so is was.

Today's lunches were sandwiches <-- this is ok too. Both of them are plural.

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  • Not exactly true, and covered here many times before. 'Fish and chips was today's lunch' would be preferred by many people; this uses notional agreement. 'Health and safety is a growing concern for the construction industry.' And when a question has been flagged as a duplicate, please check whether this is so before answering. Jan 30, 2017 at 5:34
  • While I agree that the post which this has been marked as duplicate of is about the same fundamental matter, different verbs are involved so I appreciate this specific answer by the dark wanderer. Thanks!
    – Locksleyu
    Jan 30, 2017 at 15:51

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