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    #1

    is vs Are questions

    Do we say :

    - "Accounts receivable" is OR are increasing (since the name of the account in the financial statement is "Accounts receivable")
    - Do we say "were is the rest of the students" OR were are the rest of the sudents

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: is vs Are questions

    I'm honestly not sure about the accounts receivable question.

    My instincts say plural, but I don't know if an accountant would agree.

    For the other, it's "Where are the rest of the students?"
    Last edited by Barb_D; 06-Aug-2010 at 14:38.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: is vs Are questions

    Hi Barb,

    Do you really think accountants or "bean counters" are necessarily authorities on grammar? I don't know if I am either, but I'm going to go with "accounts receivable are increasing". I see "receivable" as an adjective in the example, even though the phrase "accounts receivable" is a standard business/industry term and could be considered singular. For example, if the reference is to a department, then I would have to go with a singular verb as in "Accounts Receivable is increasing its staff because of the high volume of sales."

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: is vs Are questions

    No, I don't think they are authorities on grammar, but I also know that within industries, there is jargon that is used differently than it is in mainstream prose.

    If they think of "accounts receivable" as a line on the financial statements and therefore as a quantity, it may be that they use it in the singular.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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