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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Help    

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ladzoya
Belarus

Help
 
Hello! Can you help me again? Which variant is right: There was or were about 30 kg of rubbish in whaleïŋ―s stomach?

21 Mar 2021      



iabelmoua
Portugal

Helllo! Rubish is uncountable; however Kg(s) is countable, so "were" is the right option.

21 Mar 2021     



ladzoya
Belarus

But canīt we speak as a unit, and make it singular? We do not Need to emphasize the amount. In this case can we put was?

21 Mar 2021     



englishwithatea
Spain

I donīt think so as kilograms are countable, I think the correct answer is "were".

21 Mar 2021     



cesarfilologia
Spain

"were" is the right answer if you refer to the number of kilograms.

21 Mar 2021     



ladzoya
Belarus

But If I refer to the rubbish, can I put was?

21 Mar 2021     



ladzoya
Belarus

Here are two examples from the Studentīs book: Every Day 20,000 tons of waste is dumped into the river. Eight million tons of plastic are dumped into rivers, seas and oceans every year. I have copied all words like in the book. May be it depends on where it is. In one place, like in stomach and river and many places?

21 Mar 2021     



ladzoya
Belarus

Like If we say There was 2 litres of milk in the fridge and there were 2 litres of milk in two bottles?

21 Mar 2021     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

I did a straw poll of six English speakers and everyone said was. We are thinking of rubbish as an item, a unit. 

21 Mar 2021     



kwsp
United States

My studentsī book says:
 
 Subject verb agreement: Using Expressions of Quantity
 With most expressions of quantity, the verb is determined by the noun (or pronoun) that follows OF.
Two-thirds of the money belongs to me.
Two-thirds of the coins belong to me.
 Twenty percent of my income goes for rent.
Twenty percent of my earnings go for rent.

Also, in another section of the book it says: 
Expressions of time, distance and money usually require a singular verb.
Five thousand miles is too far to travel.
 
So I am inclined to agree with cunliffe that the answer is was.

21 Mar 2021     



ladzoya
Belarus

Thank you sooo much, Cunliffe, for straw poll and finding time! Thank you very much, kwsp, for research work too! 🤗

21 Mar 2021     

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