Are the two sentences correct or is one of them incorrect?

1) Five billion dollars is earmarked for the project.
2) Five billion dollars has been earmarked for the project.

I know dollars are countable. So I think both 'is' and 'has been' are correct here.

Also, do they differ in meaning?


Both are used.

The plural arises normally Some examples from the web showing both American and British use,

Five billion dollars have been appropriated for a two-ocean navy (American writer 1940)

Over five billion dollars have been scheduled to divest from universities since 1985 (American 1990)

five billion pounds have been spent seeking the answer (British 2014 )

However, it is sometimes treated a singular:

The Program will end on January 1, 2014, or whenever the five billion dollars has been spent, whichever occurs first. source

Fifty-five billion dollars has been invested since 2009.source

The difference is whether the money is regarded as a singular thing, the price of a singular object, measured by the unit "dollars". Or treating the dollar as a plural noun.

And so if the money is being spent on a single item I would be more likely to use a singular verb.

  • I've always assumed that "Fifty-five billion dollars has been invested" is correct because it simply omits a part: "[An amount of] fifty-five billion dollars has been invested". "Amount" is the true subject of the sentence, thus making a singular conjugation correct. – Flater Aug 4 '17 at 8:54

Either a singular or a plural verb is correct with an amount of money.

  • Five hundred dollars is invested into the project. (An amount that is refered to as a singular unit)
  • Five hundred dollars are invested into the project. (An amount of money that consists of singular units)

Thus, both sentences are correct.

  • "An amount of money that consists of singular units" -- by singular units do you mean bank notes, as in "five hundred dollars were scatted on the flour"? – Victor B. Aug 4 '17 at 17:43
  • @Rompey Not exactly. I mean that one sees the sum as a collection of money of different value. – SovereignSun Aug 5 '17 at 5:44

These are both incorrect. They should be

Five crore rupees are earmarked for the project.


Five crore rupees have been earmarked for the project.

You have it backward. Since rupees are countable it should be 'are' and 'have been'.

By the way, for those that don't know what a 'crore' is: the Wikipedia entry for 'crore'

  • Quite apart from OP's subsequent edit switching to billions of dollars, this is just wrong. The currency switch is irrelevant - "five crore rupees" is still a singular amount in such contexts. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 15 '17 at 18:40
  • @FumbleFingers I don't know what English language you think you speak, but in the language I grew up speaking, it's 'are' and 'have been'. – Rob K Feb 15 '17 at 19:07
  • I speak ordinary idiomatic English. Perhaps you're being misled by the fact that five crore rupees isn't so familiar to native Anglophones as, say, three hundred pounds. Let's face it, no-one says Three hundred pounds are quite a lot to pay for a decent bottle of wine. In contexts like that (and OP's example), it's always [some amount] is... – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 15 '17 at 19:45
  • No. I'm familiar with 'crore' and 'rupees'. That has nothing to do with it. I and everyone I know would say "Five billion dollars have been set aside for the project." To use 'has' or 'is' grates on the ear. It's not how we speak. – Rob K Feb 15 '17 at 20:00
  • 2
    Surely the choice of a singular or plural verb might depend on whether the money was regarded as a single sum or multiple units of currency. How about: A million dollars IS a lot of money and A million dollars HAVE been printed with the new security features? – Ronald Sole Feb 16 '17 at 0:33

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