Finally, the Evaluation stage took place and did not take the full ten days that was projected.

Above is a sentence from a report I am preparing. I had originally written "were" but changed it to "was" after deciding that [full ten days] was a compound subject. It still doesn't feel right though, and I wonder if indeed both "was" and "were" are correct in this situation?

Could anyone please elaborate on this? Reference to sentence/phrase structure would also be appreciated.

  • 2
    I think it depends on how you conceive of the thing projected. If it's a monolithic whole as your compound subject has it, use was. If you think of it as 10 separate days, use were. Either way, you can drop that was and avoid the issue altogether: "... did not take the full ten days projected". – Lawrence Jul 31 '17 at 15:08
  • The 10-day period of time is the project concern more than 10 individual days are. If you agree, you can use the singular. – Yosef Baskin Jul 31 '17 at 18:44

the full ten days that were projected.

The subject is days, not the number ten, so the plural applies.

Note also that using "took place" and "did not take" in one sentence tends to confuse the sentence. Suggested revision:

Finally, the Evaluation stage took place and did not require the full ten days which were projected.

  • 'Full' must refer to the ten-day period here, not individual days, so 'the full ten days' is constrained to be a unitary concept. With units, singular (notional) agreement is standard. Even in the US, where formal agreement is far more common than in the UK, 'The full ten dollars were charged' is unacceptable. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 31 '17 at 15:40
  • @EdwinAshworth, Anyone would concur if it said "Finally, the Evaluation stage took place and did not take the full ten day period that was projected. I'm uncertain if that dollars example is any clearer, the meaning here seems to depend on how the sentence is accented. Which tends to imply that some additional qualifier might be helpful in solidifying a purely written version. Therefore: s/that/which/ – agc Jul 31 '17 at 21:20

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