Should "was" or "were" be used in the following?

One million dollars was/were allocated for disaster relief.

Millions of dollars was/were allocated by the government.

I'd appreciate your help.

  • 1
    "One million dollars" can be conceptualized as a sum of money, in which case, the singular is used. The plura version, however, is also found. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 3:36
  • What about "millions of dollars"?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 3:43
  • Yes. It should be fine. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 4:33
  • You mean "millions of dollars" can take a singular verb?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


Here's an answer on English SE that may help you. In this case, one million dollars and millions of dollars are being used as mass nouns and thus can be treated as grammatically singular.

  • Is the plural version correct?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 3:19
  • It's "correct" in the sense that you'll hear people saying, but many prescriptivists prefer the singular to avoid the image the the government is doling out a million dollars one at a time.
    – Max
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 3:21

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