A blend of (verb agreement)

silver lining

Member
French - Canada
Hello everyone,

When using the phrase "a blend of", would you consider the noun "blend" to be a collective noun, in which case the verb agreement could be either in the singular or plural when the noun introduced by the preposition "of" is plural (which it usually is, I reckon), or should the verb always be in the singular form?

A unique blend of ingredients draw moisture through the day.
A unique blend of ingredients draws moisture through the day.

Many thanks!
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    In AE, you would say that "a blend of ingredients draws." In BE, you can probably get away with saying that "a blend of ingredients draw."
     

    silver lining

    Member
    French - Canada
    Thank you for your swift answer, lucas-sp. I wasn't sure whether "blend" fit into the "collective noun" category, which is a position you seem to endorse.

    Would anyone else have thoughts on this matter?

    Thank you again!
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    For me, the word "blend" refers not only to the juxtaposition of the ingredients, but also to their interaction. It means more than "combination" or "collectivity".
    And in this case, it's even more refined, being a unique blend.
    So (I reason) the blend should be the focus and govern a singular verb, "draws".
    The plural verb, "draw", puts the focus on the ingredients,
    and in a way it confesses that "blend" is just a pretentious substitute for "group". The extra meaning of the word is wasted.
    AE? BE? I don't know. This is just my personal view.

    By the way, be on guard against a similar abuse of the word "series",
    sometimes used to mean merely "collectivity", ignoring its additional meaning of sequence.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    After a lot of thought, I am happy with:

    A unique blend of ingredients draws moisture through the day.
     

    silver lining

    Member
    French - Canada
    Thank you all for your help! I would tend to favor the singular verb agreement with "blend" as well, but I can now see that the plural agreement is not necessarily misguided. Thanks for confirming my hunch!
     
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