singular or plural referring to the components of a group


"...the low-eNd and high-eHf end is partial melts from garnet pyroxenits..." 


This is a technical paper so the nouns aren't important (eNd, eHf are isotopic measurements, garnet pyroxenite is a rock names for the minerals it contains).  The sentence is referring to a plot of many measurements that form a line, we are referring to one end of that line which is made of several points.  My question is whether to use the singular "is" (in bold) because "end" is singular, or the plural "are" because the "end" is made of many partial melts.  Thanks.

Peter, it sounds like the rewrite in your comment could be the answer. Kicking these things around is a good way to get it right.

Lewis NeidhardtFeb 01 '13 at 15:48

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If we remove all the extraneous words, we get:

End is melts.

'End' is singular, but 'melts' is plural. 'Is' is analagous to an equal sign, and 1<>2.

I hope this doesn't change your meaning, but it does make it correct.


...the low-eNd and high-eHf end is a partial melt from garnet pyroxenits...

link answered Jan 30 '13 at 20:25 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks, though I think because the "end" of the trend includes many separate melts and not just one, this does change my meaning. I think the solution is to use some joiner, like "the low-eNd and high-eHf end is composed of partial melts from garnet pyroxenites..." Thanks for the help!

Peter MeleneyJan 30 '13 at 20:40

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