Student or Learner
Should I use 'has' or 'have' in the following senstence: 'Sea-floor hydrothermal vents have/has been a focus of extensive studies over the past several decades."?
Thanks for answering my question. I thought 'has' could be used when 'vents' together are considered a single entity. It seems that I was mistaken.
[I am not a teacher]
Not the case here. 'Vents' is plural so the use of 'have' is mandatory as pointed out by Mike. In different contexts, perhaps, you could use both singular and plural to mean exactly the same:
Germany play(s) France tonight.
Italy are(is) a great country.
You can say, "Italy are a great team" referring to the players (at least in my dialect), but I agree with Rover "Italy are a great country" is definitely wrong.
Besides, I think the OP is referring to a different context, where "Sea-floor hydrothermal vents" is type of topic, as in the following.
Fred: "Our teacher said we can talk about either sea-floor hydrothermal vents or interstellar gaseous nebulae."
Wilma: "Hmm, sea-floor hydrothermal vents is a good topic."
Fred: "It would be. But hydrothermal vents has been taken by Betty and Barney. We'll have to do the nebulae."
In this case, they are talking a singular topic, not plural vents. However, the OP's usage doesn't use the term this way.
Last edited by Raymott; 04-Jan-2014 at 10:09.