+0
When I opened the fridge there was only a bottle of milk, some eggs, and butter.
When I opened the fridge there were only some eggs, a bottle of milk, and butter.


My grammar book says the singular is used when the first noun is singular or uncountable.

Can't I ever use were in the first sentence?

Thanks
LiJ
+0
.
There is no inflexible rule on this, LiJ. You can (and I would) use were in your first sentence if thinking far enough ahead to recognize that several items were to going to be mentioned.
.
.
Comments  
Got it! Thanks, Mister. I'll use were in most cases.