The subject is a lot, but the verb agreement depends on your usage of lot. If it's a single package, shipping run, or other division of goods, it takes a singular verb; if it's just a generic plural count, it takes a plural verb. You probably want the latter.
A lot of Factor VIII contains (number) units.
A lot of people go to college.
ETA: The link you added reminds me that I left out one option. If "a lot" is a generic collective count of discrete items, it's plural. A lot of things annoy me. If it's a generic collective count of non-discrete content, it's singular. A lot of noise is coming out of your room, young lady.
Edited at 2009-07-20 01:37 am (UTC)
|Date:||July 20th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)|| |
So what is "of things," then? If not part of the subject, what is "of things"?
And yes, I was referring to the plural count, so.... yes. :)
I am confused by the nomenclature of subjects, compound nouns, compound subjects, what-have-you. I used to be more adept at articulating grammar, but now: meh! :(
It's a prepositional phrase, and it characterizes the subject, but it is not itself the subject. Kinda. The way we diagrammed in school, you'd have a horizontal line with "lot" on the left, a vertical bar dividing the line, and the verb on the right. Then you'd have the "a" on a little branch hanging down below "lot", the "of" on a little branch hanging down below "lot", and the "things" on a little horizontal extension of the "of" branch. I started to draw a picture here but remembered I don't know how to force spacing and fixed fonts, so never mind that.
I'm probably just as rusty! ::yields to anyone who knows the proper terminology better::
I think it's the same mass noun vs. count noun situation that divides "less" and "fewer". If you'd use "less X", then it's "a lot of X IS"; if you'd use "fewer Y", then it's "a lot of Y ARE".
as in, like... "he has less milk, but she has fewer cookies. there IS a lot of milk, but there ARE a lot of cookies."
Hrm. Until you brought this up, I would have never looked at that sentence and thought about lots. As in, this lot
of things is very large. So thanks for that, at least.
Yes to all of the above commenters. It's exactly like: "Your group of friends are grammar-challenged".
See, saying "Your group of friends is grammar-challenged"? That would just be ironic.