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Can any expert answer this question?

If there are two uncountable nouns in a sentence, should we should singular / plurla verb?

Ex: In the townhall meeting, there was/ were a lot of complaining and negative emotion.

I know with a single uncountalbe noun, th answer is "was" but not sure with two nouns.

Thanks
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was

in many circumstances this method works: check the noun nearest to the verb and adjust to it (a singular here: a lot of complaining); it works, because the ear looks for this attuning
GoodmanCan any expert answer this question?

If there are two uncountable nouns in a sentence, should we should singular / plurla verb?

Ex: In the townhall meeting, there was/ were a lot of complaining and negative emotion.

I know with a single uncountalbe noun, th answer is "was" but not sure with two nouns.

Thanks
In the townhall meeting, there was a lot of (complaining and negative) emotion.

'emotion' is an uncountable noun and 'complaining and negative' is two adjectives.

Time, money, and effort were needed.
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Marius and Pinehut,

Thanks for your quick reply.The reason for my asking this question was that I got into a long discussion with someone whether in a double uncountable nouns sitution a single or plural verb is correct. Naturally, 2 nouns suggested plural. But as Marius pointed out, 'was' also may work, as I had seen. Time, money, and effort were needed. This is obviously plural, no questions there.


The problem seems to have come from contexts which starting with "there is / are......"Emotion: zip it
Pinenut
Goodman
Can any expert answer this question?

If there are two uncountable nouns in a sentence, should we should singular / plurla verb?

Ex: In the townhall meeting, there was/ were a lot of complaining and negative emotion.

I know with a single uncountalbe noun, th answer is "was" but not sure with two nouns.

Thanks

In the townhall meeting, there was a lot of (complaining and negative) emotion.

'emotion' is an uncountable noun and 'complaining and negative' is two adjectives.

Time, money, and effort were needed.

At the great risk of being told by Pinenut that I don't know a thing about grammar, the sentence doesn't include one uncountable noun (emotion) with two adjectives, but two uncountable nouns: complaining AND [negative] emotion.

Obviously, when two nouns come before the verb, the verb is plural. Complaining and bigotry are two things I can't abide.

It's the use of of "there are" and "there is" that changes the rule. Even then, if you are forthright in the "pluralness" (I made up that word, please don't look for it) of the nouns that follow, use the plural form of the verb - There were two things that made the meeting so unpleasant - all the negativity and the complaining.

However, you'll find "there is" (or "there was") used almost idiomatically, in the singular.

Compare: The weather was unbearable. There was so much heat and humdity and There were two things that made it so: the heat and humidity.

You wouldn't say There were a lot of time and money wasted on that project, but rather There was a lot of time and money wasted on that project. On the other hand, you could say There were a lot of people [people being plural] who put their time into that project.
Ah! You've just pointed out something rather interesting. It just occurred to me that “complaining” as used in my original sentence, could be perceived as an uncountable noun by itself followed by “negative emotion; or an adjective describing “emotion” depending on the person reading it.

“In the town hall meeting, there was/ were a lot of complaining and negative emotion”

So if I interpret it correctly, you agree that in the context where two uncountable nouns are in the sentence which starts with “there is/ are….”, singular is the correct form. A few people already used the “ uncountable noun + uncountable noun + plural verb + adjective ” argument which I think is not the same as my question.

How about this one: There was /were a tremendous amount of screaming and panic when the fire broke out in the theater. My understanding is “was”.
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I know about postive emotions and negative emotions, but not complaining emotions. So you and I are in agreement that there are two nouns there.

There was a tremendous amount of screaming - yes.
Thanks for clarifying my understanding. Emotion: big smile
I'm surprised you think it's been clarified as I find some of the answers above rather confusing.

Look at it like this. When you're referring to singular nouns, it's always singular even if there are lots of them. Here's an example:

What was in the room?

There WAS a television, a radio, a sofa and a table.

However, if the first of your list is plural, then you need the plural verb.

There were televisions, a radio, a sofa and a table.

If the first object is singular but a subsequent object in the list plural, you use a singular verb but adjust things later:

There was a television, some radios, a sofa and a table.

==

Here's another example:

What did you enjoy about the group?

There was joy, peace and happiness.

It's a short way of saying:

There was joy, there was peace, there was happiness. Or if you like (joy+peace+happiness) make up a compound of what there was and thus become a singular entity: There was (joy+peace+happiness)

Not quite the same, but similar, is quanties. Take money for example:

How much is in you bank?

There is three million pounds in my bank. You would not say "There aree three million pounds in my bank".

Or There's 28 gallons in my tank, not There are 28 gallons in my tank.
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