I had this MCQ question one day when I was studying for my exams:

All the proceeds from the fund-raising event _________ going to be donated to charity.

The two MCQ options that I debated on was
1) is
2) are

I chose are, which was the incorrect answer, unfortunately. However, I am puzzled on why is is the correct answer. According to here, it says that proceeds are plural nouns (and the are in that was corrected by Grammarly) and plural nouns should be used with a plural verb, which is are.

But, according to here, proceeds (money) is uncountable and that uncountable nouns must be used with a singular verb, which is is.

Which is correct?

  • 2
    The proceeds … are … is correct. The subject of the verb is not the fund-raising event but the proceeds [from the fundraising event]. – Jason Bassford May 13 '20 at 4:49
  • The man [who walked across the street, ate a chocolate sundae, and gave 3 apples to 4 children] was tall. – Jason Bassford May 13 '20 at 4:52
  • @JasonBassford My dispute was that I didn't know whether I should use is or are with proceeds as the subject – UnidentifiedX May 13 '20 at 5:20
  • Ah! Proceeds is a plural noun. It's uncountable, but it still take a plural form. – Jason Bassford May 13 '20 at 5:27
  • @JasonBassford But my teacher said that it was is... – UnidentifiedX May 13 '20 at 5:34

As clarified in comments under the question, it was clear that proceeds was the subject of the sentence, but it wasn't clear if the verb that goes with it should be singular or plural.

Why? Because it is uncountable, and it was assumed that all uncountable nouns are singular.

This is true in general. However, like most things in English, there are always exceptions.

Proceeds is an uncountable noun. But it's also the exception to the general rule, and it actually has a plural form:

plural noun
1 : the total amount brought in
    // the proceeds of a sale
2 : the net amount received (as for a check or from an insurance settlement) after deduction of any discount or charges

As such:

All the proceeds from the fund-raising event are going to be donated to charity.

  • Thanks for explaining :) I will mark this as correct after I check again with my teachers – UnidentifiedX May 13 '20 at 5:37

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