There are more than one person.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by aprendista, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. aprendista Senior Member

    oakland, ca
    USA, ingles y español
    I think the correct sentence should be "There is more than one person." However, conceptually, one could also argue that here we have at least two persons and therefore the title sentence is correct. I would greatly appreciate your input.

    In a related topic, I wonder if "zero" is considered plural or singular, although intuitively it should be singular.
  2. Rob625

    Rob625 Senior Member

    Murlo (SI)
    English - England
    :tick: There is more than one person who finds this odd.
    :tick: Fewer than two people were able to understand Einstein's theory.
    Illogical, perhaps, but that is how English grammar works.

    It isn't easy to construct natural-sounding sentences using 'zero'. But it is certainly plural: :tick: zero suitable sentences come to mind.
  3. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    And zero degrees temperature.
  4. aprendista Senior Member

    oakland, ca
    USA, ingles y español
    Thanks for the quick turnaround! This is a great place to settle arguments.
  5. Lamante Member

    Albany, New York, USA
    USA, English
    Wouldn't you be more likely to say "It is zero degrees out" or "It's zero degrees Celsius."
  6. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    Yes, but 'it' refers to the temperature, not the number of degrees.
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Right Gotita, just think of 'zero' as 'none'.

    How many were there?
    Zero, none!

  8. ktsue New Member

    English - U.S.
    According to the American Heritage Dictionary of English Usage:

    When you are skinning a cat. When a noun phrase contains more than one and a singular noun, the verb is normally singular: There is more than one way to skin a cat. More than one editor is working on that project. More than one field has been planted with oats. When more than one is followed by of and a plural noun, the verb is plural: More than one of the paintings were stolen. More than one of the cottages are for sale. When more than one stands alone, it usually takes a singular verb, but it may take a plural verb if the notion of multiplicity predominates: The operating rooms are all in good order. More than one is (or are) equipped with the latest imaging technology.
  9. When a noun phrase contains more than one and a singular noun, the verb is normally singular

    Wow, I didn't know that.
    Really beneficial post for me!
  10. yuechu Senior Member

    Canada, English
    There are those that prefer the logical "There are more than one", such as the regular panelists on "What's My Line". <<YouTube link deleted>>

    I think they are definitely in the minority though. I believe most grammars do prescribe the singular for this construction, although I would never consider the opposite incorrect either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

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