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    #1

    is or are

    do we use is or are in the following statment:
    the latest series of articles is/are being published in the newspaper.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: is or are

    I would say that the series... is.

    However, if you think of the word series as a quantifier (a number of, several), you could use are.
    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 or are

    I remember a similar question a good while ago. I did my best to argue for 'is', but Raymott was right, and both are possible. In fact the sentence is ambiguous. It is not clear what the subject is, hence it is hard to say whether to use 'is' or 'are'.

    The latest series of articles is/are being published in the newspaper.

    The latest series is being published in the newspaper. 'series' is a singular noun.

    The latest articles are being published in the newspaper. 'articles' is a plural noun

    'of articles' is a possessive descriptor, a kind of adjective. It is possible to write 'the series's articles' cf 'John's articles'.

    The latest series's articles are being published in the newspaper.

    So if you read 'series of' equivalent to 'series's', then articles is the noun, and you would use 'are'.

    If you read 'of articles' as a postnomial possessive adjective, then 'series' is the noun, and you would use 'is'.
    Cf
    'Alaska is snowy' 'The mountains of Alaska are snowy.' 'is' would not be good here.

    'Weapons are not permitted.' 'The use of these weapons is not permitted.' 'are' would not be good here.

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    #4

    Re: is or are

    I vote for "is".

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    #5

    Re: is or are

    I also vote "is". "Series" is a collective noun (i.e., the series is; several series are).

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    #6

    Re: is or are

    for LOG 29 next May a series of articles are being published

    a detailed series of articles are being published in BioCycle,

    Commencing 5 May 2008, a series of articles are being published on the Liberal Studies editorial

    Over the coming months a series of articles are being published including

    The series of articles are being published on the NeSS analysis and guidance pages.

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    #7

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    for LOG 29 next May a series of articles are being published

    a detailed series of articles are being published in BioCycle,

    Commencing 5 May 2008, a series of articles are being published on the Liberal Studies editorial

    Over the coming months a series of articles are being published including

    The series of articles are being published on the NeSS analysis and guidance pages.
    A useful set of examples with are. Are they from published sources?
    They would be equally acceptable with is - I prefer is, but have learnt to live with are these days.

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    #8

    Re: is or are

    All just taken off the net.

    The problem is, there is no rule which tells us unequivocally what the subject is here. So some people choose 'series is' while others use 'articles are'. In fact there is no definition of 'subject' which is watertight and applicable to all situations.

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    #9

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    All just taken off the net.

    The problem is, there is no rule which tells us unequivocally what the subject is here. So some people choose 'series is' while others use 'articles are'. In fact there is no definition of 'subject' which is watertight and applicable to all situations.
    You speak of "The problem", but one problem is that some seem to take unreasonable licence in using 'are'.

    An example is a sentence like 'Manchester United are not playing well today.'
    Manchester United, a football team, is clearly an it, so 'is' would be correct. But those who would utter that sentence say that they are obviously referring to the team's players.

    In response, I say don't be lazy. If you mean the players, say so. Saying ''Manchester United are..." to indicate you are talking about the players amounts to turning things upside down. Instead of using the correct subject initially, the wrong verb is used to indicate what the subject is supposed to be.


    Last edited by 2006; 01-Nov-2010 at 05:54. Reason: addition

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    #10

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    All just taken off the net.

    The problem is, there is no rule which tells us unequivocally what the subject is here. So some people choose 'series is' while others use 'articles are'. In fact there is no definition of 'subject' which is watertight and applicable to all situations.
    I think there is a widely accepted rule that in the sentence '(The)(That)(This)(These)(Tthose) X of Y......', X is the subject and determines what the correct verb is.

    This bunch of grapes is rotten.
    Those two bunches (of grapes) are okay.
    Last edited by 2006; 01-Nov-2010 at 06:40.

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