General Writing and Grammar Help/is vs. are


I'm pondering the use of is vs. are in the following sentence:

Even five hours of sleep is greatly welcomed.

I think "is" is correct because of the group of words "five hours of sleep" as opposed to "five hours."  I also think this because of the word "sleep."  
I look forward to your response.  Thanks very much.

Hi Patty,

The general rule of thumb is that you would use "is" with singular objects, and "are" with plural objects.
In this case, "sleep" is the object in question, and it's technically considered singular here (even though there's 5 hours of it), so "is" would be correct in this case. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage explains, “When the nouns form ‘a collective idea’ or ‘a oneness of idea,’ the singular verb is appropriate”.  "Five hours of sleep" counts as a collective idea.

Kind Regards,

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