- Tricky and Unusual Forms -
Certain words appear to be plural, but through common usage are singular in meaning and take a singular verb:
The news about the flood is not good.
(similarly for: billiards, politics, economics, ethics, mathematics, physics, mumps, measles)
Some words appear plural in form, but even when used in the singular sense they still take a plural verb:
Alfonso's trousers are hanging out to dry.
(similarly for: athletics, pliers, odds, scissors, tongs, wages)
In a sentence with a compound subject, the verb number should match the number of the nearer part of the subject:
Jokonor or her sisters write about life on the delta.
Neither Aleixo nor the fishermen claim expertise in billiards.
(similarly for: either..or, not only..but also)
When an expression specifies an amount or regards things involved as a unit, a singular verb is used:
Ninety percent of the delta is marsh.
Eight years is a long time to live on the delta.
Ten kilometers an hour is the speed limit near the dock.
Thirty dollars seems expensive for a ferry ride.
The word phenomena is plural:
The phenomena that result from the tide are many.
The word phenomenon is singular:
The phenomenon of a sinking crust is difficult to measure.