Question: “The largest proportion of spending was/ were on program services, which was/ were conducted during 2016-17.”
Can you make a correct choice? Here’s another sentence:
Question: “Answering a battery of questions is/ are easy for politicians.”
Determining whether the subject of the sentence is singular or plural is vital to making a correct choice. For instance:
Proportion of spending = Singular; Use “was”
Program services = Plural; Use “were”
Answer: “The largest proportion of spending was on program services, which were conducted during 2016-17.”
Similarly, A battery of questions= Singular; Use “is”.
Answer: “Answering a battery of questions is/ are easy for politicians.”
Neither-Nor and Either-Or: Note the noun closest to the verb.
“Neither my dog Alex nor my cats are eating anything.” (Cats = Plural)
“Neither my cats nor my dog Alex is eating anything.” (Dog = Singular)
“Either Mr. Sharma or Mrs. Zia has the flue.” (Mrs. Zia = Singular)
Note: None, Neither, anyone, everyone, each, every, someone, somebody, nobody, is always singular.
“Nobody is interested in listening to the President.”
“Every doctor in the town is on strike.”
“Neither of the televisions is working.”
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