Why should I say

The gains vs amount of time required are not worth it

and not

The gains vs amount of time required is not worth it


  • 2
    Hi faminha, and welcome to ELL. The formal grammar answer here is, I believe, that the number of "X vs Y" is (according to some) the number of X. However, I'm not sure you should be saying either. That's really clunky and unnatural phrasing.
    – SamBC
    Mar 15 '19 at 15:28

Because the subject of the verb is "gains". "The gains ... are not worth it". "Gains" is plural and requires a plural verb. It is not the "amount of time" that is not worth it, it is the "gains".


You would be better off saying something like

The potential gains are not worth the time required.

or conversely,

The time required is not worth the potential gains.


Given the amount of time required, the gains are not worth it.


The potential gains do not outweigh the amount of time required.

I would use the word potential in most cases, since usually one cannot be sure they will end up with gains. But if you are sure that putting in time will lead to gains, omit the word potential.

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