General Writing and Grammar Help/who is vs. are

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some guy wrote at 2011-11-17 08:02:34
I'm guessing this was not what she was looking for. Specifically, she asked why 'are' isn't being used in a plural context (to match the noun farmers), or why 'is' is used instead. The reason is because sometimes we refer to plurals as singular groups. In this case, it's a group of famers.


Dana wrote at 2015-08-15 18:24:22
I think the difference is that there is no direct object, and so "who is" gets used.  After all, we would use "Who is going" whether or not there are multiple people going.  The alternative would be to use "Who are the people that are going?"


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A.M. Roher

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I am available to answer specific questions about grammar and writing. Although not available to proofread an entire essay, I am an expert grammarian with a professional writing background and the ability to help students or professionals.

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With a Master of Arts in English, I have 27 years experience teaching honors writing and ten years experience in freelance journalism. With the 2004 publication of my nonfiction book, Mr. Picky and Me: Lessons of a Master Chickadee (Aptos, California: New Brighton Books), I also became a published author.

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Former freelance journalist for Knight Ridder Newspapers
Published author with New Brighton Books of Aptos, California

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B.A. in English from Kent State University
M.A. in English from California State University, Fullerton.

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