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      • Native Language:
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    'is' or 'are'

    I have a general idea of rules related to subject-verb agreement. But am stuck with a specific sentence. When my sentence says "... pair of muscles in the upper arm ..." do I use 'is' or 'are'? I thought it was 'are' from all that I know about usage, but the computer is showing error. So now unsure. Please guide.
    regards, shyama

  1. lotus888's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher
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    Re: 'is' or 'are'

    The pair of muscles on the upper arm are called the biceps and the triceps.

    If the pair is considered one object, it is singular.
    The pair of pants was hanging from the clothesline.

    If the pair can be considered as separate objects, it is plural.
    The pair of twins were walking down the street.

    Last edited by lotus888; 24-Jun-2014 at 08:56.


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