singular/plural 'Most of something'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Fatandginger, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Fatandginger New Member

    Toshkent
    Tajik
    I don't know what be-verb should be used when I say 'most of things'.

    I thought it's singular noun phrase but get confused now.

    which one is right for it: Is or are?

    additionally, how about 'the most'? I also guess it is singular.
     
  2. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    I'm struggling to form a sentence with "most of things".

    I need 'the'
    Most of the things I like are illegal, immoral or fattening.

    or leave out 'of'
    Most things I like are illegal, immoral or fattening.

    The most important thing [singular] is to party every Saturday night.

    The most important things [plural] in life are wine, women and song.
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Most of the eggs are excellent. (count plural)
    Most of the egg is excellent. (count singular)
    Most of the wine is excellent. (mass)

    So the verb exactly matches what you'd use without 'most':

    The eggs are excellent. (count plural)
    The egg is excellent. (count singular)
    The wine is excellent. (mass)
     
  4. Fatandginger New Member

    Toshkent
    Tajik
    Thanks people. I now see it.

    But one more dubious thing is "Most of the egg is excellent."

    I can't actually understand how 'most' is used in this sentence because of the singular noun 'the egg'.

    Is this sentence saying eggs are generally healthy or something here?

    If so, can I change 'most of' to 'mostly'? Like 'the Egg is mostly excellent.'
     
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Sorry, this was a joke. :) Think of a bigger thing, like a loaf of bread instead: there are some bad spots on it, but most of it is still good. My reference was to an old, old joke from Punch magazine, which gave rise to the expression the curate's egg (= something that's good in parts).
     

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