The sentence is :"One of the most important things in his life WAS/WERE his speeches".

I'm not sure about the concordance! Could you help me please?

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    Hello, Mrs Mary, and welcome to StackExchange. This question has been treated here before; see "One of those is flags". If that doesn’t answer your question satisfactorily, please edit your question to clarify what exactly remains unclear. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 27 '18 at 11:50
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    The subject in the sentence is singular (indicated by the word "One"), so you should use the singular verb "was". – user22542 Sep 27 '18 at 11:54
  • @user22542 Well, this whole question (and its million older incarnations on this site alone) hinges entirely on what the subject of the sentence is. Is it the one thing that was speeches, or was it speeches that were one of many important things. Of course if it's the former then the subject is singular. But that's not what the OP is asking. She's asking whether it is the subject in the first place. (Also, even if it were, that's still not saying much, because notional concord is a thing. "A lot", "a number", "a variety", "a total" are all singular, too, and yet can take plural agreement.) – RegDwigнt Oct 27 '18 at 17:11

The answer here is 'was'. This is because you are referring to "One of the most important things..." (i.e. the singular).

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