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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    are vs is

    We have a sentence dictated by a radiologist and I think we've analyzed it so much that we've confused ourselves!

    Should it be:

    moderate amount of plaques are seen (I'm thinking this one??)
    moderate amount of plaques is seen

    Thanks -

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Jul 2006

    Re: are vs is

    What is the context? "Plaque" can be either count or non-count. If the radiologists, for example, are examining a dental X-ray, it would be 'a moderate amount of plaque is seen' (because that sort of "plaque" isn't countable).


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: are vs is

    The radiologist uses the plural form (plaques)so I don't think he can be talking about dental plaque (which, as BobK points out, is uncountable so doesn't have a plural.)

    So he must be referring to plaques which one can find elsewhere in the body, for example in the brain (Altzheimer's) or in the coronorary arteries etc.

    In this case the speaker (or writer) has the choice of either "is" or "are".

    This is because the word "amount" is used like a collective noun so if we perceive the units as a group we use the singular "is". But if we perceive the units as individuals, we use the plural "are".

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