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Need English help. Just on one word, I'm confused. Update:Answer is IS!!!

In the sentence: The lesser of two evils, yet still mighty obnoxious, (is)(are) the imbeciles...

So should (is)or(are) be used. Is it reflecting 'lesser of two evils' or 'imbeciles'?



Asked by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Feb. 9, 2011 in

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Answers (29)
  • I think it's is. Take out the rest of it and leave "The lesser is the imbeciles". It seems like lesser is what's being referenced. Is it possible for you to type the rest of the sentence, or was that it?

    Answer by vicesix at 12:20 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • are. The imbeciles are the lesser evil but still obnoxious.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:19 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • i believe it would be are because it is talking about more than 1 evil and imbecile

    Answer by dreamangel06 at 12:21 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Are. It's reflecting the plural noun "imbeciles".

    Answer by Anonymum at 12:20 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I agree...are

    Answer by Syphon at 12:21 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Are.
    Now, if imbieciles had been singular (imbecile) it would have been "is"

    Answer by katzmeow726 at 12:23 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Ok, maybe I'm reading it wrong (and if I am, don't tell my boss as I am a writer! LOL!) BUT, "Lesser of two evils" Is *not* a subject in the example sentence. Break it down:

    First off, Lesser is not a noun. It's an adjective or adverb (

    The phase "lesser of two evils" is an idiom being used to describe a noun. It, in and of itself, is not the subject of this sentence.

    The subject of the sentence is actually "imbeciles" and therefore, the proper verb tense would be "are."

    Remember, the subject does *not* have to precede the noun. Sometimes English professors like to mess with our heads and move things around to see if we can find where the proper subject is hiding. LOL!

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:59 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I think the right word is (is) but I could be wrong

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 12:22 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Are

    Answer by Melbornj at 12:24 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Are.

    Answer by misses_nick at 12:24 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

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