One of the elements for measuring development is/are not skyscrapers.

Should I use is here which influences one, or are which influences skyscrapers?

  • 1
    It's almost never idiomatic in English to say One of X is not Y - the standard form is Y is not one of X. – FumbleFingers Mar 11 at 13:06

With the copula verb "be" we have to distinguish between the copula subject and the copula complement. The copula subject is what is described by the copula complement; this is what the verb will agree with. Here the copula subject is "One of the elements for measuring development." "One" tells us that the subject is singular. Therefore, the verb should be conjugated as "is."

However, a more typical word order for your sentence would be to use "skyscrapers" as the copula subject. Then it would read "Skyscrapers are not one of the elements for measuring development."

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