When subject is singular but predicate is plural


I may be using the word predicate incorrectly (as I forget a lot of grammar terms) but how would you say this sentence?


"A perfect metaphor for this is three rivers intertwining."


Using "is" just sounds wrong to me as I feel the need to say: "are three rivers..."

But it also sounds wrong to me to say: "A perfect metaphor are..."

singular plural asked Mar 08 '13 at 21:02 Brenner New member

2 answers


You don't want to say 'are'. The subject is 'metaphor', so 'is' is correct. The metaphor is 'three rivers intertwining' and is thought of as a single unit. This, however, is not a metaphor. A metaphor compares two apparently unrelated things. An example would be 'life is like three rivers intertwining', but it's not a very good one, and I have no idea as to what it might mean.


A perfect metaphor for this is 'life is like three rivers intertwining'.


The quotation marks emphasize the fact that the metaphor is a unit.

link answered Mar 08 '13 at 21:22 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks for your answer. I really appreciate it.

BrennerMar 08 '13 at 23:59

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"life is like three rivers intertwining" is NOT a metaphor...it is a simile

link comment answered Mar 25 '13 at 06:49 MeetJoeAsian New member

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