Interested in Language
A Pending Threat to Patents
Over the past decade, thousands of patents have been granted for what are called business methods.
My question is about the use of 'are' here. Is that because of 'methods' being plural that an 'are' rather than an 'is' should be put there?
My original thought was that it should be 'what is called business methods', for 'what' is regarded as third person singular. I wonder if I am still right that.
Last edited by LiuJing; 07-Nov-2010 at 18:10.
People call them business methods.
They are called business methods by unnamed people.
They are called business methods.
They are what are called business methods.
Does that help?
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.