Grammar rules

Hello! Could you help me? Well, I have a question. What is the right answer and why? The second set of rules is grammar rules or the second set of rules are grammar rules? I will be very thankful, if you answer me.

Comments

  • The second set of rules is grammar rules is the correct one. Because the subject is singular. The plural form of this subject will be "Sets of rules".

  • Personally, I prefer

    The second set of rules are grammar rules.

    I think it's actually unacceptable to write

    The second set of rules is grammar rules.

    To make it acceptable we need something before the words grammar rules . For example

    The second set of rules is one of grammar rules.

    We can remove the difficulty by using another verb instead of is. For example

    The second set of rules consists of grammar rules.
    The second set of rules comprises grammar rules.

  • @DavidCrosbie Sir, But the subject should agree with the verb right? As a matter of fact, the sentence gives an idea that there is a first set of grammar rules, then the second, which make **sets **of grammar rules which is the plural form. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • @DavidCrosbie Sir,

    I have also come to know that when a plural noun follows the "of", then a plural verb has to be used. Like,

    Part of the walls are to be cleaned. In the American style of writing use of are is wrong I guess, or is there a reason for this.

    Expecting explanation.

    Regards

  • But the subject should agree with the verb right?

    As a general rule, yes. But the rule has exceptions.

    Two principles may work against the rule:

    1. NOTIONAL — The subject phrase may contain the idea of several things
    2. PROXIMITY — A plural noun may be nearer to the verb and the singular subject further away.

    Notional agreement is quite common with COLLECTIVE NOUNS such as team, government, staff etc. This is more common among British speakers than American speakers, but it does happen in both dialects.

    The second set of rules are grammar rules is subject to both principles

    1. NOTIONAL —The idea is plural.
    2. PROXIMITY — The noun form rules is closer to the verb than the noun form set.

    This doesn't mean that the verb must be plural. But it does explain why I find it acceptable.

    Your new example

    Part of the walls are to be cleaned.

    is not acceptable in British English either.

    Yes, there is PROXIMITY. But the NOTION of the subject is singular.

    When I say that it's unacceptable, I don't mean that nobody ever says it. But it's the sort of careless mistake that English speakers recognise as wrong. If they notice that they've made the mistake, then they correct themselves.

    Returning to the original question from @cbalatel257 , I really don't believe that

    The second set of rules is grammar rules.

    is acceptable in writing or in careful speech.

    There's an agreed term for the part before the verb be (the second set of rules).
    It's the SUBJECT.

    The part after be (grammar rules) is sometimes identifies by a traditional term.
    It's the COMPLEMENT.

    Now, be is sentences like this means that the SUBJECT is identical to the COMPLEMENT.
    So either both are singular or both are plural. It's just not grammatical to say

    is grammar rules

    I suspect that some speakers won't like

    The second set of rules are grammar rules

    But I believe all speakers will dislike

    The second set of rules is grammar rules

  • @DavidCrosbie

    Thank you very much for your valuable insights. Sir, This is really helpful.

    Regards

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