Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Aug 1 2013   2:01PM GMT

What the world needs now: subject-verb agreement



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Tags:
ESL
is/are
subject-verb agreement

Which is correct?

interrobang Enter the CHRO: Apparently, what the world needs now ___ more C-level execs.
a. is
b. are

Answer: a.

Explanation:
This one seems obvious when you stop and read carefully… but I have to admit that when I saw a version of this sentence using “are,” the error slipped right past me initially. Then it snagged and I saw what the issue is.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a gazillion C-level execs (or puppies or snickerdoodles or what have you) — the verb “is” modifies the phrase “what the world needs now,” which is singular, not the subject of the sentence, those proliferating C-level execs.

twitter bird  Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: