A straightforward question that has sparked part debate, and also I couldn"t find a concrete answer anywhere. There appears to be two camps: words plethora shows plural, so because of this it have to be "There room a plethora"; and also the various other camp claims that over there is just one plethora (which includes multiple), therefore it must be "There is a plethora".

You are watching: There is a plethora or there are a plethora

I"ve seen many examples the both. Is over there a consensus, or is it just one that those things that have the right to go either way?


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This look in ~ the issue of the grammatical plurality of solitary groups of many items is well worth analysis in full.

To summarise:

Some do host it must always be singular.Both deserve to be found, indigenous the middle of the 18th Century on.The plural is the much more commonly used, has been for some time, and also its loved one popularity is growing.Respected writers who usage the plural incorporate Charles Batteux, wilhelm Hazlitt, man Keats, wilhelm Makepeace Thakeray and also Mark Twain. (John Keats" to be once thought about a grammatical rebel because that such things as the twin be in "...how diligent I have actually been, & am being", but I doubt plenty of would even notification why the was considered poor grammar by part in the nineteenth century. Mark Twain made heavy use of non-standard forms, however that was a aware use and he was no doing for this reason in the example).

I"ll additionally note that john Cowan (who frequently remembers such things) is quoted thus:

J.R.R. Tolkien once received a letter (addressed come "any Professor the bsci-ch.org Language") asking him around the rectitude that "A large number of wall surfaces is/are being built", and saying that "big money" was riding ~ above the issue. He answered, the course, the you have the right to say what you like. His original reply is not in publish AFAIK, but a letter to someone else referencing the is in The letter of JRRT.

My very own opinion, is the the singular is easily construed as it is registered to the noun that defines the group, simply as the many is easily understood as attaching to the individual members of the group. Neither clash horribly for many readers, though some perform hold solid opinions.

My very own use doesn"t also side firmly v one or the other (my preferences right here are offered not as prescriptive decrees, but using myself as an instance to demonstrate that intake may not even be firmly on one side or the other with a offered individual).

If a phrase clearly refers to the individuals, I would certainly strongly favour the plural:

The group of protesters to be holding placards.

Some plainly to the group:

The team of protesters was twice the dimension as one hour ago.

Many can be interpreted either way:

The team of protesters was/were blocking the entrance.

In which ns am likely to just mentally ar in one of the an initial two categories, and write accordingly. Keep in mind that even with the an initial two, my strong favouring one or the various other does not median I find other choices to be incorrect in others" writing.

From what i say above, you might expect that i would always favour the singular if the individuals aren"t pointed out (even if ns wouldn"t "correct" one more for act otherwise):

There was a plethora.

The plethora that piñatas was/were gaily coloured.

But a group almost always in ~ least says its members, and this question encounters one instance of that, but there are others.

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There space technical contexts wherein I would much much more strongly indicate that expressions specific to the team or come the people be distinguished: The difference between sets and their items in mathematics, or between collections and also their components in thing oriented computer programming. Even here, ns wouldn"t so much say the a given kind was wrong, just that over there is a heavy benefit for precision and also often you are working to help readers understand that really distinction, for this reason an extra little bit of prissiness may pay off.