Thursday, July 29, 2010

Subject–Verb Agreement


This is from the New Paper on Sunday (28 February 2010).  Is the highlighted verb correct? 

One might assume it is, considering that the subject, over 17,060 kilometers, is plural, hence the plural verb separate.

However, over 17,060 kilometers actually represents a distance, hence a single entity, so it requires a singular verb here, i.e. separates.

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