So I recently got confused when comparing a set of plurals. I know normally when you compare singular you add a +s to the verb and you don't with plurals, but then I came across this while trying to help a non-English native:

Its advantages outweighs its disadvantages"

Now to my brain this sounds correct, but the rule as I know it doesn't support it. I know their are other exceptions to this rule, like when I say "I outrun you", but I can't think of a reason as to why these plurals are acting like singulars. Anyone have any ideas?

  • 1
    The sentence is not grammatically correct. Even native speakers sometimes make mistakes.
    – Andrew
    Dec 26, 2017 at 0:18
  • 2
    Source please. Where did you find this sentence, please give a clear source, ideally link to an online resource. The sentence, as quoted is incorrect. It could be a partial quote.
    – James K
    Dec 26, 2017 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


You are right and the native speaker wrong. "Advantages" being plural, takes the verb in the plural form, "outweigh".

Often you'll find this error when the subject is modified by a phrase: "The crowd of at least a thousand people [to be] ordered to disperse." Some native speakers, focusing on the word "people" (especially when there are more than a thousand of them!) are tempted to regard the subject as plural and use "were". The subject is, of course, "crowd", a collective noun that takes the singular form of the verb, "was".

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