Are these two sentences right ?

Five books were what I bought yesterday .

What I bought yesterday was five books.

Original Post

Hi, Rasaa,

@rasaa960 posted:

Are these two sentences right ?

Five books were what I bought yesterday .

What I bought yesterday was five books.

Both are grammatically correct. Concerning 'b', you can also use 'were'. Michael Swan 3rd edition indicates such a point and explains it in detail page 522. He says, "In English a verb normally agrees with the subject of a sentence, not with a following complement."

- The biggest time-waster is meetings.

He goes on saying, "However, if the subject is a long way from the verb, people sometimes make the verb agree with a complement." and then he comes to the answer to your question saying, "This often happens, too, when the subject is a relative what-clause, especially when the complement is long."

- What I am most interested in is/are your immediate personal reactions.
- What
we need is/are a few bright young engineers.

Last edited by ahmed_btm

Thanks a lot for your cooperation .What about this sentence

1-Wheat varieties are what we are interested in.

I ask if I can say .......................................................

2-What we are interested in is wheat varieties .

Notice you have just said ........

if the subject is a long way from the verb, people sometimes make the verb agree with a complement."

Thanks a lot .

 

Hi, Rasaa,

@rasaa960 posted:

Thanks a lot for your cooperation .What about this sentence

1-Wheat varieties are what we are interested in.

I ask if I can say .......................................................

2-What we are interested in is wheat varieties .

Notice you have just said ........

if the subject is a long way from the verb, people sometimes make the verb agree with a complement."

Thanks a lot .

 

Of course you can. What you need to focus on is "This often happens when the subject is a relative what-clause, especially when the complement is long." Can't you see that your question is very close to Swan's example above? I mean this example:

- What I am most interested in is/are your immediate personal reactions.

BTW, if you want to know about what Fowler says about 'singular what' and 'plural what', you can read this:

 https://thegrammarexchange.inf...6546339240#421101091

Last edited by ahmed_btm

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