A colleague of mine asked me, "Can we say 'My favorite food is hamburgers.'"

I said of course it is correct. But she said a native speaker says it is wrong. It should be "My favorite food is the hamburger."

I know there are some similar questions here answered before. in this post: Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with "The thing is/are the objects."

The only agreement rule is that finite verbs must agree with their subject. Period. There is no such thing as “subject–complement” agreement in English, be it grammatical or notional. The problem is the horses is perfectly normal, standard, and correct in all possible ways, and therefore since your question is based on a false premise — that there is some sort of “problem” with that form — it can have no possible answer. – tchrist ♦ Jul 25, 2014 at 17:18

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It is what I think. I just want to see what you guys think here and now.

  • 2
    There is a somewhat weak and pedantic argument in favour of "My favourite food is the hamburger" but there is no argument for "My favourite food is the meatball" or "My favourite food is the chip (french fry if you're American)" since no one is ever served with one chip and, very rarely if at all, with one meatball.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 6:51
  • 1
    The number mismatches typically occur with ascriptive "be", where the construction is generally reversible. But consider the grammaticality of ?Hamburgers is my favourite food.
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 6:59
  • If you want to use a generic noun phrase like the hamburger, of course you can, though it's rather strange to use a formal generic with an informal noun like hamburger. Definite generics, like all generic noun phrases, have their own grammar. Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 14:54
  • I would say "My favorite food is hamburger", without an article. "The hamburger" refers to a specific hamburger, not the general category of all hamburgers.
    – Barmar
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 22:30
  • Barmer, it is considered wrong to say "My favorite food is hamburger", because "hamburger" is a count noun.
    – Louis Liu
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 1:13


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