The art of some cultures have/has shorter histories than others.

In this case, the verb should agree with "art", not "some cultures", as far as I know.

I am wondering if "have" is correct in this sentence.


You can only use "has" in this sentences. And you know why - the subject of the sentence is "the art of some cultures". The main word here is "art", and so the predicate must be "has" (for he, she, it and singular nouns).

  • Thank you for your kind answer. But in following sentence, "Most of the students like to play soccer," the verb agrees not with "Most" but with "the students." In N1 of N2 V structure, if N1 represents some parts of N2 such as some, many, most, two-thirds, etc. the verb should agree with N2 not N1, which I have learned. I am wondering if "music" in the sentence "The art of some cultures have/has shorter histories than others" can be categoized into the same group as part-representing nouns(some, many, etc.). If it can, "have" might be correct. That's my real question. Please help me. – NAM Oct 19 '18 at 5:33
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    @NAM But you see, "most of the students" is more than 1 student, so it's plural. That's why they use "like", not "likes". And it's perfectly correct. The rule is just the same. – Enguroo Oct 19 '18 at 5:52
  • @NAM There's a difference: in "the art of some cultures", the singular noun "art" is head and hence the verb should be the singular "has". But in "most of the students", "most" is a 'fused determiner-head, where the meaning is "most students of some set of students". Thus the head word is the 'fused' plural "most", hence a plural verb. Compare "most of the cake has been eaten", where the meaning is "most cake of the larger cake had been eaten. Here "most cake" is singular, hence the singular verb "has". – BillJ Oct 19 '18 at 8:55

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