Friday, February 19, 2010

some notes

An amount of a substance or an amount of money is singular.

So it is perfectly correct to say "There's 15kg on order".

If you mean fifteen one-kilo packs, then you could say "There are 15 kilos on order".
( there are 15 1kg packs on order.)

However, people are not always consistent, so you may well hear "... kilos are ..."

There is 15 kg on order.
There are 15 kgs on order.

The singular would be used only if there were a context indicating that the 15 kilograms were a single unit, and in that case I would expect to see "15 kilograms" used as a modifier. For example:
  • 15 kilograms were added to the bar
  • A 15-kilogram weight was added to the bar.
There is on order.
There are on order.

The singular "is" is legitimised by the 15kg being thought of as a quantity/amount/total.

However, there are times when a quantity of weight is regarded as singular. The fat man weighed 300 kg. My goodness, that is a lot! (not ... those are a lot).

If children are actually hitting each other, then it's definitely a fight. If they're pushing and shoving each other, you could still say it was a fight.

If they're only pushing each other or sticking their tongues out, then maybe "squabble" or "altercation" or "confrontation".

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