Possible Duplicate:
[Singular] Is/Are [Plural]?

In this sentence:

The only exception are questions that are narrow enough that they can be reasonably answered definitively with one or two possible solutions.

Should it be "The only exception is" because "exception" is singular, or "The only exception are" because "questions" is plural?


1 Answer 1


The default is that the verb agrees in number with its subject, so The only exception is . . . If that sounds awkward, you can write The only exceptions are . . . , which is probably preferable anyway, given that questions is plural.

  • 3
    Or OP could sidestep the verb agreement issue by using, for example, "the only exception being questions that are..." He's probably need to terminate the preceding sentence with a semicolon to make it flow nicely though. Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 16:40

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