I have this sentence in a technology book.

Decision tables are a convenient way to organize information in a systematic manner.

I wonder if that sentence is correct, since the author has used a after are


My confusion happens because are is for plurals not single

  • Why do you think it is wrong?
    – user3169
    Jan 26, 2015 at 17:35
  • 1
    @user3169 because are is using for pruler not single Jan 26, 2015 at 18:11
  • The bigger issue is understanding what parts of the sentence influences the verb form (and article usage). Your question should say more about your current understanding on this, as it is a bigger issue than can be covered in a few phrases.
    – user3169
    Jan 26, 2015 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


It's not only correct, it's actually very common to use "are a" in English. Here are a few examples:

  1. These criminals are a threat to society

  2. I married my girlfriend, because marriages are a good way to show people you love them

  3. The gifts he gave you are a good reason to think he likes you!

These example work because every criminal I was talking about was a threat to society, every marriage is a good way to show people you love them, and all the gifts together are a good reason for the girl to think the boy likes her. When we talk about things as a collection serving a specific purpose, "are a" is a very common construct.

  • 1
    You might mention that are vs. is relates to the subject and not to the argument. "When we talk about things as a collection serving a specific purpose" That's a good summary of why this makes sense.
    – eques
    Jan 26, 2015 at 18:27

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