Is or Are

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jack

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Apr 24, 2004
The solution to these problems is immensely complex. <--why is "is" not "are"? Is it because "solution" is the subject? Why isn't "problems" the subject? How do i know which one is the subject and verb?
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
The solution to these problems is immensely complex. <--why is "is" not "are"? Is it because "solution" is the subject? Why isn't "problems" the subject? How do i know which one is the subject and verb?

The solution is immensely complex. (Singular subject + Singular verb)
The solutions are immensely complex. (Plural subject + Plural verb)

The phrase 'to these problems' is made up of a preposition (to), a demonstrative (these) and a noun (plural). The entire phrase is called a prepositional phrase and it modifies the word 'solution'. That is, it tells us more information about the word 'solution'.

All the best,
 

jack

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
"Soaring over the mountains with their snowcapped peaks is always a treat I look forward to." <---Why is "is" not "are"? How do i know?
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Soaring over the mountains with their snowcapped peaks is always a treat I look forward to
The subject is "soaring over....", that is, the action of soaring. the part "over the mountains with their snowcapped peaks" just qualifies the action (eg. soaring over a mole-hill would not be as much fun).
So you say "soaring over [blah blah] is always a treat I look forward".
Similarly, you woud say "Driving sport cars is his favorite hobby".

FRC
 
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