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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Is vs Are in a list of items

    Hi everyone, I have a quick question.

    Everything from iPods to caviar is now available at the store.
    Everything from iPods to caviar are now available at the store.

    Which is correct?

    The first sounds correct to me, but given that there are multiple items in the list, plus the fact that one of the items is plural, makes me think the second may be correct. Help?

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    #2

    Re: Is vs Are in a list of items

    "Everything" is the subject of the sentence and it takes a singular verb.

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    #3

    Re: Is vs Are in a list of items

    NOT A NATIVE TEACHER

    Everything takes a singular verb that is "is" in the example above.
    We've got "From iPods to caviar" here just to say that "everything" really includes EVERYTHING. There might be lots of things in between, but this fact doesn't affect the rule that "everything" takes a singular verb.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is vs Are in a list of items

    A good method of determining subject-verb agreement is to eliminate prepositional phrases and other words between the subject and the verb.

    In this case, you would have "Everything...is now available." This works in most, but not all cases. There are exceptions when the subject represents a portion of something. Then the object of the preposition may determine the number of the subject. Examples:

    Some of the cake is missing.
    Some of the cakes are missing.

    Most of the sandwich has been eaten.
    Most of the sandwiches have been eaten.

    See more here (especially Rule 9):

    Subject and Verb Agreement | Grammar Rules

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