Singular or plural verb for: "all of" + multiple uncountable nouns?


I would like to know the proper verb form (singular or plural) when using "all (of)" followed my multiple uncountable nouns.  Examples:


All of the faculty and staff is/are licensed. All the food and wine is/are ready to be served. All of the research, analysis, and writing is/are my own work.

asked Mar 04 '12 at 22:18 Kaz Sakuraba New member

1 answer


Hmmm, I find both of your answers interesting, but I am still unsure what is correct.  I did find the following guidance from another source:


With words that indicate portions—percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so forth —look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.  Examples:

(1) All of the pie is gone.

(2) All of the pies are gone.


Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural depending on their use in the sentence.  Examples:

(1) The staff is in a meeting.

Staff is acting as a unit here.

(2) The staff are in disagreement about the findings.

The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example.

The sentence would read even better as:  The staff members are in disagreement about the findings.

link answered Mar 05 '12 at 03:19 Kaz Sakuraba New member

Kaz, I'm pretty sure your source is a British style manual, possibly Oxford. APA says that "staff" in your second sentence of your #2 would be considered singular in American English. Therefore, "the staff is in disagreement." TolleyMar 05 '12 at 04:17

Perhaps you are right, for although the individual source is American, her guidance may be based on British style. Supporting your choice of verb agreement is the following line I found from "The Brothers Karamazov" by Dostoyevsky: "Believe that, believe it without doubt; for in that lies all the hope and faith of the saints." I found at least two such English translations (though I am unsure whether they are British or American English) using the verb "lies" and no translations using "lie." Thanks for your advice. Kaz SakurabaMar 05 '12 at 14:58

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