When I type "Students is the type of people you are looking for".

Instead of "type of people", it may be something like: "somewhat", "the way to go", etc..

I have my grammar-extension complaining that I should use "are". So I wonder is it really wrong?

Could you provide some examples of using plurals with "is"? (it is difficult to search)

  • 2
    Bacon and eggs is my favourite breakfast. / Health and safety is our primary concern. Notional agreement with a compound subject comprising a cohesive concept (a meal, a multifaceted concern ...). And, more trivially, plural-form names of films etc << 'The Lord of the Rings' is my favouritr book.' >> – Edwin Ashworth Jun 24 '20 at 18:22
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    Also if a plural form is is a singular item. For example, "We provide ID's for three categories of people: Students, Faculty, and Support Staff. Students is the category for anyone whose primary role at the school is attending classes and educational activities as a learner." That sentence can easily be rewritten to uses "students" as the plural that it is, but in this example "Students" is a single item, a category name. – Damila Jun 24 '20 at 18:38
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    This question is rather backwards. As soon as you use "is", you expressly indicate that whatever came before it is singular. You can use it with absolutely any plurals at all. It's just that they immediately stop being plurals. – RegDwigнt Jun 24 '20 at 20:53
  • Thanks to all, I got it – Sagid Jun 24 '20 at 21:17
  • Three good comments here above, and @RegDwigнt's remark is interesting. However "Students is the type of people I am looking for", is difficult to approve, especially as the plural word "people", confirms the plurality of "students". You would stand a better chance with "Students is the type of category I am looking for". – WS2 Jun 25 '20 at 8:36

Yes, "Students is" is really wrong, if "Students" is plural, but there may be cases where "Students" can be treated as singular (see below).

Subject-Verb agreement in general

The subject and verb must agree. Since "is" is singular, it must be preceded by a singular subject.

As YourDictionary puts it:

Subject verb agreement simply means the subject and verb must agree in number. This means both need to be singular or both need to be plural.

Cases where the subject can be treated as singular

There are cases where the subject may appear to be plural at first glance, but is really singular (or can be).

a) Compound Nouns: As we see in Rule 4 in grammarbook

Rule 4. As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.

Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation.

But note these exceptions:


  • Breaking and entering is against the law.
  • The bed and breakfast was charming.

In those sentences, breaking and entering and bed and breakfast are compound nouns.

The examples from Edwin Ashworth (bacons and eggs, and health and safety) are compound nouns.

b) Collective Nouns: As we see in Rule 9 in grammarbook

Rule 9. With collective nouns such as group, jury, family, audience, population, the verb might be singular or plural, depending on the writer's intent.


  • All of my family has arrived OR have arrived.
  • Most of the jury is here OR are here.
  • A third of the population was opposed OR were opposed to the bill.

By this rule, the word "students" could be singular or plural, depending on the writer's intent.

  • If "students" is a group/category, where other groups may be "teachers", "parents" and so on, then it would be singular, so your sentence would be grammatically correct.
  • If "students" is treated as plural (referring to them as multiple individuals), then your sentence should use "are".
  • Appreciate your answer, but as Edwin puts it in "Bacon and eggs is my favourite breakfast", I think what you're pointing out at is a bit different. Here the word "Students" means a single type, not types. There might be several types of people, and students is just one of those types. Although I am not a native, my English level is not elementary. – Sagid Jun 24 '20 at 20:59
  • Otherwise, the sentence "Students are one type of..." would be the same way wrong. And or "Students are one types of...". – Sagid Jun 24 '20 at 21:04
  • After all, would you mind to drop here the correct form of my sentence? – Sagid Jun 24 '20 at 21:11
  • @Sagid Sorry I missed your comments earlier. Ok, yes, if "students" is a category, then it could be singular, e.g., if the people are divided into students, teachers, and parents, then each of these, i.e., "students", "teachers" and "parents". I'm revising my answer shortly. – auspicious99 Jun 28 '20 at 3:17

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