What would be the right form of to be in the examples below?

Five miles [is/are] a long way to walk.

Preliminary results [is/are] better than no results at all.

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    Measures of distance (five miles) and time (ten minutes) are somewhat forgiving when it comes to agreement in number, but results is plural and must take the plural form of the verb (are.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 19 '16 at 4:54

Use standard plural construction with "results are". Use standard singular construction with "is a long ... walk". "A preliminary result is" also standard usage. "The five miles are fraught with danger" uses plural, because the sentence does not cast the total distance into a single unit.

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