I read this article and found a sentence that says:

Among his greatest hits were the anthem "Bring Him Back Home," demanding Nelson Mandela's freedom from jail.

Could you explain why the sentence used 'were' as the verb? I think the subject and the object are inverted in this sentence. Therefore, it can say that

The anthem "Bring Him Back Home," demanding Nelson Mandela's freedom from jail was among his greatest hits.

So the subject is the anthem "Bring him back home" and I thought its verb should be 'was' because the anthem is in the singular.

I would appreciate a little bit of help.

  • 7
    You have correctly identified a grammatical error. May 29, 2018 at 17:12
  • 1
    Agreed. If you just see "hits were" or "hits was" you (or your computer grammar checker) may mistakenly choose "were" to agree in number with "hits".
    – GEdgar
    May 29, 2018 at 17:16
  • I've seen a computer grammar checker object to the correct "was" in a similar situation and recommend changing it to "were". (But this happened some years ago; maybe computer grammar has improved since then.) May 30, 2018 at 2:20
  • It's a simple case of space editing. The original must have referred to two or even three but due to space constraints, the rest were later dropped leaving just one and the were stayed, overlooked by the subs. Take it easy, folks.
    – Kris
    May 30, 2018 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


It is an error. The correct form of that clause would be

"Among his greatest hits was the anthem "Bring Him Back Home"

As you said, a singular verb (was) should be used to match the grammatical number of the singular noun "anthem".

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