Can I use singular verb for these sentences?
Sentence 1. “Twenty gallons of paint is needed to paint the house”
Sentence 2. “Three members of the staff/crew is needed to paint the house”
I know there are other threads with similar questions so plaese don’t mark this as duplicate as I’m asking a particular questions in this thread.
I’m in cofusion because the first example has a mass/uncountable noun and the second example has a singular noun and from what it says here it should be singular verb because it says the following: “Generally speaking – though there are exceptions – the fraction takes the same plurality as the thing it modifies; see here for a good explanation.” so I don´t know if the sentences need a singular or plural verb.
- Twenty gallons of paint is needed to paint the house.
is fine. Twenty gallons of paint would be considered a singular unit, as you said. However:
Twenty one gallon cans of paint are needed to paint the house.
is clearly plural.
- Three members of the crew are need to paint the house.
Even though you are referring to part of the crew, the number in the example is three, so I would not use the fraction rule. You could use a fraction though:
Half of the members of the crew is needed to paint the house.
half is a fixed group and has a set value based on the size of the crew.