too many hours

< Previous | Next >

rafanadal

Senior Member
Italian
In the book "Open" Andre Agassi writes "too many hours on a soft mattress causes agony".
Why was the 3rd person singular used with a plural subject as "too many hours"?
Shouldn't it be "too many hours on a soft mattress cause agony"?
 
  • Sharifa345

    Senior Member
    USA
    US English, DR Spanish
    The understood meaning is something like "Spending too many hours... causes" or "Sleeping too many hours... causes."

    The hours themselves do not cause agony, but the fact that you are spending so many hours on a soft mattress causes the agony.
     

    quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi rafanadal, that is a good question. The grammar people may correct me, but the idea is that the subject is not each individual hour but the time spent in bed.

    Sleeping too long on a soft mattress causes agony.
    Sleeping too many hours on a soft mattress causes agony.
    Too many hours on a soft mattress causes agony.

    The action of sleeping is understood.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top