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Most of the fish in this store _______(be) delicious.

Which verb form goes into the above blank, is or are?
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sitifanMost of the fish in this store __(be) delicious.

Which verb form goes into the above blank, is or are?

Use 'are' because 'fish' in the sentence is plural.
The agreement is with the noun after most of the.

Most of the wine in this store is delicious.

Most of the cereals in this store are delicious.

fish is both a singular and a plural.

This fish is very big.
These fish are very big.

Therefore, either is or are can be used in your example sentence.
Only what is in the mind of the speaker (a singular or a plural) can determine whether is or are should be used.

That said, we normally think of fish to be eaten the way we think of meat -- an uncountable singular. So most people, I'm guessing, would use is. On the other hand, if you are in a store that sells live fish for home aquariums, you might hear Most of the fish in this store are beautiful and are easy to take care of.

CJ
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CalifJimThat said, we normally think of fish to be eaten the way we think of meat -- an uncountable singular. So most people, I'm guessing, would use is. On the other hand, if you are in a store that sells live fish for home aquariums, you might hear Most of the fish in this store are beautiful and are easy to take care of.
And also, if they intend to mean different types of fish - e.g. swordfish, tuna, trout, cod, flounder, etc.,then it could be plural:

Most of the (kinds of) fish in this store are delicious.
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CalifJimThat said, we normally think of fish to be eaten the way we think of meat -- an uncountable singular. So most people, I'm guessing, would use is. On the other hand, if you are in a store that sells live fish for home aquariums, you might hear Most of the fish in this store are beautiful and are easy to take care of.

Hi,

May I say what you said (and a very fine explanation I must say) means the following two sentences are correct?

(1) Most of the fish in this store is delicious. (Say, "this store" refers to a grocery store.)

(2) Most of the fish in this store are delicious. (Say, "this store" refers to a pet store.)

The reason I'm asking this is that I spotted the original question in a Taiwan forum (for English Teachers and I followed a link posted by Sitifan to this page). Sitifan quoted your explantion there, but there are some folks there don't seem quite understand(*1) what you said and thought you meant "Most of the fish" must follow "are" (becuase "Most of" only appears in the last sentence of the above quoted paragraph, so they thougt that's the only correct usage....)

(*1) Of course, if I'm in the wrong, then I'm the one who doesn't understand ...

Thanks,
DuncheeMay I say what you said (and a very fine explanation I must say) means the following two sentences are correct?

(1) Most of the fish in this store is delicious. (Say, "this store" refers to a grocery store.)

(2) Most of the fish in this store are delicious. (Say, "this store" refers to a pet store.)
No. "is delicious" indicates the fish are to be eaten. That designation is not likely to be applied in a pet store that sells fish!
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In a grocery store:
Most of the fish in this store is delicious. (fish treated as an uncountable substance, like meat.)
Most of the fish in this store are delicious. (fish treated as countable kinds of fish.)

Of the two, in my opinion, the first is more likely to be heard. Both are correct, i.e., they're grammatical, and they make sense.
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In a pet store:
Most of the fish in this store are easy to take care of. (countable kinds of fish)

NOT: *Most of the fish in this store is easy to take care of. (substance)

In this pet-store example, is doesn't work because it treats fish as a substance (singular, uncountable). You don't buy "fish-substance" in a pet store. You buy "fish-individuals".
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Dunchee"Most of the fish" must follow "are"
Are you sure of the difference between "follow" and "precede"?

X Y --- X precedes Y; Y follows X.
A B --- A precedes B; B follows A.

"are" follows "most of the cereals": most of the cereals are
"is" follows "most of the sugar": most of the sugar is
"most of the cereals" follows "are" : are most of the cereals
"most of the sugar" follows "is": is most of the sugar

___

"Most of the fish" must follow "are" False.
"are" must follow "Most of the fish" False.
"Most of the fish" must follow "is" False.

"is" must follow "Most of the fish" False.

There are no musts here. It depends on the context and on the thoughts in the mind of the speaker.

CJ
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Dunchee

(2) Most of the fish in this store are delicious. (Say, "this store" refers to a pet store.)

I just realized I made a terrible mistake. I forgot to replace "delicious". The above sentence is terribly wrong. It should be something like this:

(2) Most of the fish in this store are reasonably priced. (Say, "this store" refers to a pet store.)

Or, I could borrow AlpheccaStars's example (".... to mean different types of fish...")(and the rest)
CalifJimIn a grocery store:
Most of the fish in this store is delicious. (fish treated as an uncountable substance, like meat.)
Most of the fish in this store are delicious. (fish treated as countable kinds of fish.)

Of the two, in my opinion, the first is more likely to be heard. Both are correct, i.e., they're grammatical, and they make sense.

Thank you. It's very clear now.
Most of the fish in this store are delicious
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