a complex chain of events

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nnyy

Senior Member
Japanese
There is a complex chain of events that (contribute/ contributes) to the result.

Which one is more proper in the sentence?

Thanks a lot! :)
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You can use either the singular or the plural verb, depending on your intended meaning:

    There is a complex chain of {events} that contribute to the result.

    There is {a complex chain of events} that contributes to the result.​
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Ask yourself what contributes to the result. Is it the chain or is it the individual events? It could be either, because when you say "chain" in this context, you really mean all the events in that chain acting together as one contributor.
     
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