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[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. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 15 '12 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! :) – FumbleFingers Nov 15 '12 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"? – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 15 '12 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. – FumbleFingers Nov 15 '12 at 13:13
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Well, after word gets around he might encounter many such audiences. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 15 '12 at 13:17

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

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