LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||07/NOV/2010 6:26 PM|
How much does six feet worth? or How much do six feet worth?
Wrong verb, fellas. We should be using "to be".
"How much is six feet worth?"
(1a) "To do" is not used with "to be worth". How much is this car worth? How much are the books worth?
(2b) If you insist on using "do/does", you need to change your sentence to "How much does six feet cost?" or something similar.
(2) "Six feet" is plural, right? The plural (third person plural present indicative) of "to be" is "are", right? Then the answer is "How much are six feet worth", right?
No, not really. If we were asking the value of six individual feet, I would agree. However, we are discussing a unit of six, a grave.
See: Practical English Usage (Third Edtion - Oxford University Press) - Michael Swan. Check out section 527 on page 520: "Singular and Plural, plural expressions with singular nouns (amounts and quantities)". In it you will find such examples as "that five pounds", "twenty miles is..." and "five litres....is not enough". (Not those five pounds, twenty miles are, and five litres are not enough.) You borrowed five pounds (a unit) from me, not five individual pounds. I walked twenty miles (a unit), not twenty individual miles. We need more than five litres (a unit), not more than five individual litres.
This is related to "the police are" ("Police" is plural, not singular. The may police come [plural], but the police never comes [singular].) And "rum and Coca Cola is (unit because it is a drink)", not "rum and Coca Cola are (individual - unless you are NOT talking about them as a drink but as drinks)".
Isn't English fun?
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