There is/there are a lot of/a plethora of/a myriad of

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Alright, I have probably gone through every single article/forum thread on this issue. People seem to differ, but most prefer the plural.

I have to disagree. At least, I can clearly see it with "plethora" and "myriad".

In the zoo, there are many animals. Yes, the word animals is definitely plural. And the arguments people resort to for the use of the plural is exactly that. They say that it should be There are a plethora/myriad/lot of animals because animals is plural. The thing that (in my opinion) they don't notice is that the verb is not modifying animals, but plethora/myriad/lot! No one would say There are a group of animals. Because the verb modifies group!!! That is why, in my opinion, it should be there IS a plethora of animals.

Now, the real issue is raised with "a lot". There is a lot of animals. / There are a lot of animals. Please do not comment saying that it should be "are" because animals is plural because, as I said, the verb is not modifying animals, but "a lot", and "a lot" is singular. Because it's ONE LOT, ONE BUNCH, ONE BIG GROUP. But no one would say A lot of people was singing at the concert. But they ought to! Shouldn't that be the correct way to say it?

What do you think? I can't seem to understand why people use plural verbs for plethora and myriad, but it gets way more confusing with a lot.
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I've always heard it;

    There is a plethora of animals.
    There are myriad animals.

    And for what it's worth, it is typical to say, "There are a lot of ..." There's a term for it, but in any case it is idiomatic.
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