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When asking the price of something, do we say:

  • How much is the pens? or

  • How much are the pens?

1 Answer 1

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A verb's number (singular or plural) follows the noun it describes.

In your case,

How much are the pens?

is correct. "Pens" is plural, so therefore "are" must be too. To use "is", you must be only trying to buy one pen:

How much is the pen?

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  • I had thought that maybe " how much is the pens?" is a short form for "how much is the cost of the pens?" But the cost of is deleted maybe because it's understood from the context Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:50
  • @AhmedAyman in that case, "cost" in the noun. "Cost" is singular, so the verb becomes singular. "Of the pens" simply describes "cost" - you could say "How much is the cost" and it makes grammatical but not logical sense.
    – Stephen S
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:51
  • @Ahmed No native speaker would interpret the sentence as omitting the word cost or the words cost of. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 2:30
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    Thanks for your reply, clara. You asserted stephen's answer. Thank you, stephan! Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 15:18

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