English native speakers please~~ Hi~ I have problems with subject-verb agreement... Which verb is correct/more common in each of the sentences?: (1) There is/are a number of incidents.... (2) There is/are a variety of activities... (3) There is/are a lot of people... You see, it's the same structure that I have problems with. Does it depend on whether the word after "of" is uncountable/singular/plural? I think I have heard both "is" and "are" versions. But I don't remember exactly. Thanks in advance!
May 7, 2016 5:51 AM
Answers · 5
In your examples, "a number/variety/lot of..." can be replaced with other synonyms such as "several" or "multiple". I'd look at the word which follows "of", and in all cases you have plural nouns, so use "are". The small issue here is that we often use "there's" in speech, even when the subject is plural. I mean the contracted form, not the full form. Maybe this will become widely accepted decades from now.
May 7, 2016
If the subject is singular - use "is" For example: There is a Black Bear in the woods (single black bear so use is) Plural example: There ARE Black Bear(S) in the woods
May 7, 2016
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