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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    is or are

    Should "is" or "are" be used in this sentence?

    What sets GYARD® apart is real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation that proactively insures that Smith’s fleet
    data is current and complete.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Should "is" or "are" be used in this sentence?

    What sets GYARD® apart are real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation that proactively ensure that Smith’s fleet
    data is current and complete.
    You could use 'are' after data too, since that's plural.
    R.

  3. buggles's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Should "is" or "are" be used in this sentence?

    What sets GYARD® apart is real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation that proactively insures that Smith’s fleet
    data is current and complete.
    This is a more complicated sentence than it first appears.

    "What sets...........?" invites a follow-up which is singular.

    If the follow-up is plural, we would expect to see, "What set.........?"

    The author of this statement is regarding everything after the word "is" as one thing.

    What sets GYRARD apart is (all this lot)!

    Notice there aren't any commas in the rest of the sentence.
    If there were any, then "set" and "are" would have been used.

    What set Gyrard apart are real time controls, reporting and local service representation and..................

    buggles (not a teacher)

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    #4

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Should "is" or "are" be used in this sentence?

    What sets GYARD® apart is real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation that proactively insures that Smith’s fleet
    data is current and complete.
    Natives are actually quite divided on this: the traditional view is that 'what', standing at the beginning of a sentence as a nominal relative pronoun (i.e. equivalent to 'that which'), functions as sentence subject and thus governs the verb in the singular, irrespective of the number of the complement. This would then give

    What sets GYARD® apart is real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation...,

    , just as we say e.g.

    The staff are fine; the problem (S) is (V) the students (C).

    and not

    *...the problem are the students.

    An increasingly popular approach, however, is to treat 'what' instead as a preposed complement and the noun(s) following the verb as its grammatical subject, yielding the alternative formulation

    What sets GYARD® apart are real-time controls/reporting and local
    service representation...

    Personally, I favour the former, but essentially, as regards this particular issue, in the words of the old adage, "you pays yer money and you takes yer choice"!

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