General Writing and Grammar Help/is vs. are

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Question
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.

Answer
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,
-Johnathan  

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Johnathan Clayborn

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I can answer a broad range of questions about both academic and creative writing. I can answer questions about APA format, research and references, essay structure and more. I am particularly helpful in the areas of character development, storyline development, etc. and I can provide authors with an array of tools to help them organize their work.

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I minored in English for my Bachelor's degree. I have also written several books and I run a small publishing company (before you ask, we're not accepting submissions at this time). I have written both fiction and non-fiction books and I have been published in newspapers and written articles for major internet websites.

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Alpha Chi, Psi Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, APA

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MS, Educational Psychology, BS Psychology (English minor)

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