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The other THING that made that night special for me WAS/WERE the GUESTS.

Do we bring "was" because of "thing" or "were" because of "guests"?

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    I wouldn't get too worked up about this one. Googgle Books claims 49 written instances of (the) thing that bothered him were (some plural noun). Most native speakers probably wouldn't even notice the subject/verb form "plurality" clash in such contexts, particularly given that the common alternative what bothered him... can validly be followed by either a singular or plural verb form. This is more a matter of pedantry than what usages ordinary native speakers actually produce and accept. – FumbleFingers Aug 27 '17 at 13:19
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You should use "was" instead of "were." After all, it's "subject-verb agreement" because the verb must agree with the subject, not the object. To better remember this, you can try replacing the entire subject with "it" if it's singular.

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    +1 a couple of notes. the guests is a Complement of the verb, but it's not the object (the verb BE cannot take an Object). 2) it might be good to clearly explain what the Subject is here. – Araucaria Aug 27 '17 at 8:49

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