0

The exercise is to pick the correct verb in the following sentences:

Last year there (was/were) two cinemas and one hotel on Apple street.

There (is/are) one cinema and two hotels there now.

In the first it's definitely "were". What about the second?

Context: this exercise was given to elementary school kids in an English class in a non-English speaking country. The teacher said that the correct answer is "is" becasue the part of the subject immediately following the verb is singular "one cinema". Is this true?

I know that this question is very similar to "There is" or "There are" a man and a woman?. But I still would like to ask it for this exercise, intentionally constructed to be confusing.

  • 1
    Yes: generally we would use the rule of proximity, whereby the noun nearest to the verb determines the verb-form, singular or plural. – BillJ Apr 11 at 6:17
1

Proximity is important for English speakers. Use the verb that matches the closest noun unless it's an odd circumstance.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.