1

I have the following question: If a list of items is followed by 'and much more', should the following verb be singular or plural? E.g. "over a hundred hours of gameplay, exciting quests, mysterious locations and much more awaits/await you in the new game". A chap and I disagree strongly on this issue, and I do wonder, which one is correct? I looked at the Corpora of English language and both expressions are present and seemingly acceptable.

My reasoning goes along the lines of 'much more' being a quantifiert of uncountable nouns that sums up the previous items, whereas he says that as long as 'and' is present, plural is a must, irrespetive of the specific content of a sentence.

Looking forward to your answers! :)

2

Your friend is correct, and it may be easier to see why by simplifying the sentence like this:

A, B, C, and D await you in the new game.

A = over a hundred hours of gameplay

B = exciting quests

C = mysterious locations

D = much more

The list A, B, C, and D is the subject of the verb await. A list always has more than one item, so the verb of that list will always be in the plural form. (You may be wondering why the first sentence in this paragraph had as its verb is. The reason is that in that case, the subject was list, which is singular.)

  • +1 Quite right. This is no different than saying, An apple and three pears await you or Three apples and one pair await you. Multiple items means a plural subject-verb agreement. Saying that, however, even while it's correct, and much more await you does sound a little strange. I'd phrase it as and many more things await you. – Jason Bassford Aug 10 '18 at 21:58
  • How can you give such an answer without elaborating on the distinction between many and much? Counter example: One corn, two corns, and much more sand awaits you (make that bags instead of corn if you will). – vectory Jan 8 at 5:07
-2

much more is not a noun phrase, so technically it cannot be the subject of the verb. As pointed out, it's the whole list, that stands in as subject, but that's immaterial to the question.

If you insert a verb to make a proper noun phrase much more stuff, it should be intuitively clear that a plural inflection (exactly no inflection, in English), is required. The idea of a zero pronoun might help there, much more _, but other ways of grammatical analysis might exist. Correctly, though, if you use much, that implies an indefinite uncountable plurality, which normally inflects for singular. With mixed bags of countable and uncountable objects, you'd still use plural, though, the common expression is still much more awaits you in my mind, perhaps induced by much, and possibly then often not appended to lists.

I don't know a good reason to use many more (things) instead, but the possibility should be noted.

  • 1
    What do you mean it can't be the subject of a verb? Do you not find "Much more awaits you at the end of the tunnel" (for example) to be grammatical? Seriously, the noun sense of the word "more" is listed in MW and the Middle English Dictionary and any complete Old English Dictionary, so I guess I'm just assuming that it's pretty widespread. – Laurel Jan 8 at 5:51
  • @Laurel suppose these dicts take a shortcut and don't mention the zero pronoun, which is after all just a theory. German ein Mehr is deemed a noun, too, to my surprise, but it requires an article--I don't remember seeing a/the more, ever, except in the more the merrier, where merrier isn't a noun as well. – vectory Jan 8 at 18:19
  • In fact MW has more will arive shortly under pronoun. Which is somewhat in line with my assumption of a hero pronoun hiding in there, e.g. more (things, that, of that, ...) is a noun phrase and omitting the noun or changing _ for a pronoun doesn't change that, so we assume a zero pronoun. – vectory Jan 8 at 18:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.