Should the verb be singular or plural in this sentence: "The 1830s were a time" versus "The 1830s was a time"?

  • 3
    Either is ok, but do you have more context?
    – gattsbr
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


The 1830s were a time of great difficulty.

Any decade includes 10 years (here 1830-1839) so use the plural.

I won't swear this is technically correct, but since you put an "s" after 1830, I think most people would use a plural verb anyway.

If you wrote something like:

The last decade was very positive for us.

then use the singular.

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