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Choose the verb in each sentence:

One and a half apples is/are left on the table.
One apple and a half is/are left on the table.
One and a half years has/have passed.
What caused the accident was/were stones on the road.
What I need is/are apples.
Comments  
Anon:
Please select the verb you think is correct. We can then comment on your answers.
One and a half apples are left on the table.
One apple and a half is left on the table.
One and a half years have passed.
What caused the accident was stones on the road.
What I need are apples.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
One and a half apples are left on the table.
One apple and a half are left on the table.
One and a half years has passed.
What caused the accident were stones on the road.
What I need are apples.
One and a half apples are left on the table.
One apple and a half are left on the table.
One and a half years has passed.
What caused the accident were stones on the road.
What I need are apples.

AnonymousChoose the verb in each sentence:

One and a half apples are left on the table. OK now.
One apple and a half is/are left on the table.  (Not correct)
One and a half years has/have passed.  (Some may argue that it should be 'has', perceiving the years as a period.)
What caused the accident was stones on the road.
What I need is apples.

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Here are the answers:

Choose the verb in each sentence:

1. One and a half apples are left on the table.

2. One apple and a half are left on the table.

The verb is plural b/c the subject is plural - it's a "compound subject" representing two seperate, countable objects. Just picture one apple and half an apple on the table. Aren't they plural? Emotion: big smile

3. One and a half years has/have passed.

Amounts like time and length can be singular or plural, depending on the context. If the time span is considered as one unit, it would be singular. (e.g. Two years is a long term for that type of office.) In the mentioned sentence above, the subject is likely plural.

If this question arose from the similar train of thought as #'s 1 & 2, then again, this is plural b/c it is more than one year.

4. What caused the accident was stones on the road.
5. What I need is apples.

In both cases, the subjects are singular.

The verb always agree with the subject, not the "predicate nominatives" (nouns that follow liking verbs like the Be-verbs and are equal to the subject - i.e. In a simple subject like "I am a girl," the noun "girl" follows the linking verb "am" and is equal to the subject "I"; "I" equals "girl." The linking verb means "equal.")

Strictly speaking, in the above sentences, the subjects are both singular; each of the subjects consists of one noun clause ("What caused the accident" & "What I need"). So the singular verbs "was" & "is" respectively are correct.

However, in these sentence, the actual objects of the "what" clauses are clearly and obviously plural b/c they are indicated immediately after the verb. In conversational English, I think you could use the plural verbs b/c the instant image from each sentence suggests plural objects.
2. One apple and a half are left on the table.
The verb is plural b/c the subject is plural - it's a "compound subject" representing two(seperate),separate  countable objects. Just picture one apple and half an apple on the table. Aren't they plural? Emotion: big smile

I wonder whether native speakers would say "One apple and a half are left on the table" instead of "One and a half apples are left on the table."

To me, the sentence is too awkward.
I dont knw
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