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There has been a series of car accidents at the crossing.

There have been a series of car accidents at the crossing.

May I ask which verb is correct here? Thank you!
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Comments  
has - it links to 'a series'.
nona the brithas - it links to 'a series'.
Nona,
I think we might have a BrE/AmE difference here. When I read the original post my immediate reaction was to say that "There have been a series of car accidents at the crossing." was correct. With "have" referring to the "accidents".

I wonder if anyone else has a comment on this?
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I found several examples using plural verbs through Google Book Search. For example:

1. And there are a series of decisions, based on what principle we are...
2. There are a series of wage levels, all of which are governed....
3 This shows that there are a series of other mental factors which play a greater part...
4. There are a series of dark zigzag marks upon the costa....
5. And finally, there are a series of variations, amongst which ...
6. There are a series of bodies in the sky which did not attract much attention...
7. With the same object in view there are a series of specimens showing damage to...
8. There are a series of provisions, from 13 to 15...
9. ... there are a series of environmental protection options aimed to minimize the...
10 even though there are a series of transactions...
http://books.google.com/books?lr=&q=%22There+are+a+series+of%22&hl=zh-TW&sa=N&start=0

So does this mean we can use both singular and plural verbs here? What do you think?
ViceidolI found several examples using plural verbs through Google Book Search. For example:

1. And there are a series of decisions, based on what principle we are...
2. There are a series of wage levels, all of which are governed..
3 This shows that there are a series of other mental factors which play a greater part...
4. There are a series of dark zigzag marks upon the costa..
5. And finally, there are a series of variations, amongst which ...
6. There are a series of bodies in the sky which did not attract much attention...
7. With the same object in view there are a series of specimens showing damage to...
8. There are a series of provisions, from 13 to 15...
9. ... there are a series of environmental protection options aimed to minimize the...
10 even though there are a series of transactions...


So does this mean we can use both singular and plural verbs here? What do you think?

I don't see how it could ever be correct to say "And there is a series of decisions, based on what principle we are..." etc.
Could be a difference in different versions of English (or it could be just me) but all of those examples grate horribly to me.

It might be to do with how we view the word 'series'.

Would you say

A bunch of flowers is in the vase.

or

A bunch of flowers are in the vase.

To me, a 'series of accidents' is no different to 'a bunch of flowers'.I'd use the singular verb.
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there has not been openings
there have been no openings
Good news! I have THE answer! Bryan Garner (the "American Henry Fowler") says "series" is ordinarily singular as in "the series is popular," BUT it is also a noun of multitude as in "a series of things," which takes a plural verb.
Yes - it is a difference between BritE and AmE and as such, both are correct.
In American English it would be, "There have been a series of accidents".
In British English it would be, "There has been a series of accidents".
Check for whom you are writing or proofreading.
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