Student or Learner
Please, see example sentence:
One of the main attractions of Dahab are the unique on-the-ground restaurants.
The underlined plural (are), is that correct in the sentence? Why/why not? I think it's incorrect, but I want to be sure. The reason I think it's wrong is because of the "One of...." in the sentence.
Thanks for any help and insight you can provide. I want to crack this nut! I've been thinking about this one for the past hour!
You are right to feel this doesn't work. But rather than changing the verb, could you change the "one"? After all, if there are multiple restaurants, it's not one attraction.
Some of the main attractions are the restaurants. All plural.
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.
Thanks so much for your input, five and Barb. It's much appreciated!! Your suggestions make a lot more sense and sound better, too. But, I am still wondering, if one can't change the sentence, would you write is or are?
I just really want to know this... Thanks!
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) Both Moderator Barb and Teacher Fivejedon have given us
excellent advice: the best thing is to revise your sentence.
(2) BUT, yes, I believe that there is a rule that some native
(a) This is what the authors of Writing with a Purpose (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1980) write:
The complement [the unique on-the-ground restaurants] of the
verb to be does NOT affect the number [singular or plural] of the
(i) Thus, if your teacher wants you to follow the "rule," then the
"correct" answer is:
One [the subject] of the main attractions of Dahab is the unique on-
(ii) Here are two examples from that book:
Her chief source of enjoyment is books.
One thing you must be ready for is their attempts to break up the
Remember: The authors (Professors McCrimmon, Miller, and Salmon) agree
that if a sentence sounds "awkward" [not natural], it is better to rewrite it.
(3) There is a famous grammar book called A Comprehensive Grammar
of the English Language (New York: Longman, 1985). It is followed
by many teachers. In that book, Professors Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and
Svartvik say that many times both verbs (is or are) are "correct." Here
are their examples:
My only hope is/are my children.
More nurses is/are the next item on the agenda.
(4) Something very interesting. Your sentence sounds "awkward" with
is. But I think that I read somewhere that the shorter the sentence
the more acceptable it is to native speakers. So maybe (!!!) some
native speakers would accept:
One of Dahab's main attractions is the unique on-the-ground
(5) Bottom line:
(a) As the moderator and the teacher both said: your sentence should
(b) If you want a rule (for example, when you take a test at
school), then follow the rule that I cited above: to be agrees with
My favorite fruit is cherries. Cherries are my favorite fruit.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
You are awesome, Parser!! Thanks so much for taking the time to give me such a lengthy explanation to my linguistic dilemma! The explanation you gave is awesome, and just what I was looking for. As soon as I have posted this, I will copy and paste your answer into my 'English grammar' document, so I can look it up whenever I need some guidance. You've managed to answer many of my questions and ponderings with your post, and I'm super grateful! Now I can have a good night's sleep.....Finally!