I am confused to use copula when the sentence is described with singular or plural.


1.The following is tips.

In this sentence should I use is or are ?

2.The day is weekend.

The 2 days are weekends.

Are the sentences above correct ? What is the grammar to use copula?

  • 1
    Forms of ‘be’ are often auxiliary, but not in these examples. An auxiliary verb has another verb as its complement, as in “are going” or “have done”. The ‘be’ in your examples is called a copula, if you want to get formal. Apr 10, 2019 at 6:06
  • thanks for the correction
    – Raylene Wu
    Apr 10, 2019 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


BE " Verb is used as a principal verb and as an auxiliary verb. In V¹ it has three forms: am, is and are. In V² it has two forms : was and were. This is the only verb that doesn't require any "Do" support for negation or interrogation irrespective of being BE as a helping or main verb. When BE is a main verb, we call it a copular, linking or stative verb and what's after BE in the predicate portion of the sentence is either renaming the subject or describing its attributes— a noun or adjective complement. BE verb is a sin qua non in passive voice to impart to the subject a sense of being acted upon.

BE as a copular presupposes interchange of subject and predicate. It would be better if we write:

  • The following are the tips.


  • These days are weekends.

Like any other verb, BE verb also agrees with the subject in number, person and mood of which we are less bothered colloquially. We should not use "followings" for in that case we are prone to ignore it's participle adjective nature. But if you use "following" to mean a noun in the sense a body of supporters or admirers ( like fan following-s) you can choose either singular or plural number.

  • The following is really an adjective, with an implied noun (the following items or the like), so it never carries an s. Apr 10, 2019 at 16:09
  • My point is to flip around subject and predicale. Admitted that there are more hits for " the following " in the internet but that doesn't negate " followings" altogether. "The following" would however require a plural verb. Apr 10, 2019 at 17:59
  • You shouldn’t say “the followings are the tips.” Try “the following”. Sep 11, 2019 at 2:15
  • An Adjective with "the" denotes class and requires plural verb cf. The rich/ the poor, the following with or without a plural noun Sep 14, 2019 at 19:42

You must log in to answer this question.