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

Is the following sentence correct?

This report’s intended audience is the students of the University of Canada.

Can I use the verb "is" with a plural noun as the subject complement?

  • 2
    Yes. It also works the other way round: "The students ... are this report's intended audience." Some people may be uncomfortable with it, but an audience is inherently both singular and plural. Nov 15, 2012 at 2:47
  • @StoneyB: I don't feel at all comfortable with "an audience are inherently both singular and plural", but I have no such problem with "the audience are inherently [flexible]" (so it all depends which audience(s) we're talking about - an indefinite one, or the definite ones! :) Nov 15, 2012 at 4:41
  • @FumbleFingers A very nice point. What about "Someday he will find himself before an audience who are not receptive to his extreme views"? Nov 15, 2012 at 11:35
  • @StoneyB: lol - Even "nicer" point! That particular audience would presumably have to be the one which is singular! Pluralistically speaking, I mean - there's nothing else particularly odd/unique/singular about them/it. Nov 15, 2012 at 13:13
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Well, after word gets around he might encounter many such audiences. Nov 15, 2012 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Well, the short answer is yes. Is refers to audience not students, which can be both plural and singular.

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