+0
I've found the followng article in The American Heritage Book of English.
According to the traditional rule, nothing is invariably treated as a singular, even when followed by an exception phrase containing a plural noun:

1. Nothing except your fears stands (not stand) in your way.
2. Nothing but roses meets (not meet) the eye.
As far as verbs like "stand" and "meet" are concerned, one doesn't found difficulty to accept that they could be used with a singular mark (stands & meets) with nothing. But thinking about a verb "to be" used as a singular with nothing creates bit of a doubt. Consider the following example;

3. Nothing except your fears is your worst dream.

To me, is here doesn't sound much good. Please can someone assure me whether a singular verb should always be used with nothing or not.

GB
1 2 3
Comments  
The problem isn't with nothing taking a singular verb, the problem is with your example.

In 1, it's "Nothing stands in your way - except your fears."

In 2, it's "Nothing meets the eye - except roses."

But 3 - "Nothing is your worst dream" doesn't make sense. If you want to see one with "to be," then try this: Nothing is certain except death and taxes = Nothing except death and taxes is certain.

Does that help?
Well I don't know how these examples copuls be wrng because these examples (except the 3rd one) were taken from AMrtican Heritage Book of English. The link is given below.

http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/042.html

GB
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
The first two aren't wrong - only the third one is. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.
Well... it is now. Thank you for clarification.

GB
So we can say that nothing will never take a plural verb.

GB
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Nothing - meaning not a single thing, not a single part of something requires singular.
1. Nothing except your fears stand in your way.
2. Nothing but roses meet the eye.

The tradition is to use a singular verb with nothing in writing, but using a plural verb is acceptable in spoken English.
If it is acceptable in some spoken English, then the, as it were, spoken English should be reconsidered. What is wrong is wrong. I would warn students that some people say it this way, but people say so many things in so many ways...

Slava
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more