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  1. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #1

    Question masses of ...

    There ________ masses of work to do. Should "is" or "are" be in the blank?
    A mass of figures _________ the page. Should "cover" or "covers" be in the blank? Thanks for help!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: masses of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    There ________ masses of work to do. Should "is" or "are" be in the blank?
    A mass of figures _________ the page. Should "cover" or "covers" be in the blank? Thanks for help!
    1. "There's masses of work to do." Neither 'is' not 'are' sounds right to me. Certainly you wouldn't use 'are'.
    2. covers. There's one mass - it's singular.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: masses of ...

    Either "there is a mass of work to do" or "masses of work need to be done".

    I agree with Raymott on the second.

  4. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: masses of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    1. "There's masses of work to do." Neither 'is' not 'are' sounds right to me. Certainly you wouldn't use 'are'.
    2. covers. There's one mass - it's singular.
    Since in sentence 2, the form of "be" is decided by "a mass" not "figures", why isn't "are" used for sentence 1 with "masses of"?

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: masses of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Since in sentence 2, the form of "be" is decided by "a mass" not "figures", why isn't "are" used for sentence 1 with "masses of"?
    Yes, the form of 'to be' is decided by the number of the subject. But the number of the subject isn't always clear. In 2. it is clear.
    In 1. we don't talk about "masses of work" with the meaning that there is one mass here, and another mass there. If that were the case, then "There are masses" would be correct.

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