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Sabrina Joyeux
05-24-2017, 10:17 AM
Hello,
Hoping some of you can provide guidance for me on a question I have about the following sentence:

The best in innovative teaching practices, beautiful resources and exceptionally dedicated teachers is right on your doorstep!

I am not confident regarding the "is" and wonder if it should be "are" right on your doorstep.

I understand that I need to use "is" with a singular subject, and "are" with a plural subject, and then if it is plural (or there is more than one noun), I use are? So does this mean the above needs to actually be:
The best in innovative teaching practices, beautiful resources and exceptionally dedicated teachers are right on your doorstep!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

TrinaM
05-24-2017, 11:23 AM
The nouns that best is modifying are all plural, so I'd go with "are."

Bacchus
05-24-2017, 12:35 PM
The best in [some stuff] is right on your doorstep!

Calder
05-24-2017, 01:17 PM
In your sentence "the best in" is an adjectival phrase which refers to, or qualifies "innovative teaching practices," "beautiful" qualifies "resources" and "exceptionally dedicated" qualifies "teachers," so, in effect, ignore the qualifiers and you have a list of three things, each of which is the subject of the verb, which makes the plural form "are" the correct choice.

Jason
05-24-2017, 02:45 PM
Deconstructed to its simplest form:

A, B, and C are right at your doorstep.

I would also say if the original construction is kept, another comma is needed to complete the list, but I'd still shorten it to something like this:

The best practices, beautiful resources, and dedicated teachers are right at your doorstep.

My final thought here: I'd not use the sentence as constructed, it's too convoluted.

Anna Iguana
05-24-2017, 03:31 PM
I believe Bacchus is right. "The best" is the subject of the sentence (and the relevant noun). "The best" is singular in American English. (Maybe not in British English?) "...in A, B, and C" is a phrase modifying the subject. So the singular "is" that you're unsure about is correct.

If the sentence started "Best A, B, and C," then A, B, and C would be the plural subjects. I agree with Jason that the sentence has a few more words than it needs.

Maryn
05-24-2017, 04:51 PM
I'm with Bacchus. (Wine, at this hour? Well, maybe just a mimosa.)

The word "in" is vital in understanding why "is" is the right verb. With "in," you're talking prepositional phrase with multiple prepositional objects, some of them plural. If you were to remove the prepositional phrase, it would be even clearer.

The best in innovative teaching practices, beautiful resources and exceptionally dedicated teachers is right on your doorstep!
The best is right on your doorstep!

Maryn, sure on this

Layla Nahar
05-24-2017, 05:02 PM
For me the key here is 'in'. The 'in' makes it more clear that the grammatical subject of this sentence is 'the best'. As in 'The best is yet to come.'

'Are' would go with 'Practices, resources and teachers are at your doorstep.'

When it's hard to see things, taking out all the extra words and working with just nouns and verbs helps make it clearer.

ETA: Maryn beat me to it!

Myrealana
05-24-2017, 06:21 PM
Deconstructed to its simplest form:

A, B, and C are right at your doorstep.

I would also say if the original construction is kept, another comma is needed to complete the list, but I'd still shorten it to something like this:

The best practices, beautiful resources, and dedicated teachers are right at your doorstep.

My final thought here: I'd not use the sentence as constructed, it's too convoluted.
I like this.

If you make the verb agree with the true subject, "best," then it's going to sound wrong to some people. If you make it agree with the plurals, it will actually BE wrong.

Best to change the sentence to eliminate the ambiguity.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-25-2017, 01:45 AM
It's the prepositional phrase, and it will NEVER contain or be a subject.

The best in innovative teaching practices, beautiful resources and exceptionally dedicated teachers is right on your doorstep!

The underlined stuff is all one prepositional phrase, the preposition is "in". (sneaky)
The true subject is "best".

Delete in, best is demoted to an adjective describing practices, resources and trachers, which is a multiple subject and needs "are".

The best innovative teaching practices, beautiful resources and exceptionally dedicated teachers are right on your doorstep!

blacbird
05-25-2017, 01:49 AM
Deconstructed to its simplest form:

A, B, and C are right at your doorstep.

I would also say if the original construction is kept, another comma is needed to complete the list, but I'd still shorten it to something like this:

The best practices, beautiful resources, and dedicated teachers are right at your doorstep.

My final thought here: I'd not use the sentence as constructed, it's too convoluted.

Quoted for agreement and emphasis. Confusing usages like this are often due to a poorly constructed sentence. Simplify, and the problem goes away.

caw

Sabrina Joyeux
05-25-2017, 03:42 AM
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Very helpful and interesting to boot!