Each sentence needs both a subject and a verb to be complete. Some subjects are singularly, and some are plural. A singular subject requires a certain form of verb. In many cases, a plural subject requires another form of verb. Publishers provide similar examples where a collective name sentence followed by a plural noun requires a plural verb. We shorten a few examples: put another one, think about what is actually available. Is that an area that people can choose, right? Is it a selection of functions that people can choose as much as they want? And in light of similar examples, the editors of Merriam-Websteres` English User Dictionary agree: “Experts and common sense agree that the plural verb is natural and fair.” I can`t go with the Mavens on this one. With strict rules of grammar, it is obviously fair to say is right. But I`m sure we all know that almost everyone used in this context, without there being a second thought. And among those who don`t, I bet many do it with concern. They take plural verbs when used as indefinite quantifiers (see Rule 1 above): With a collective noun, you use either a singular or a plural verb, depending on whether you want to highlight the group or its individual members: Fill-in-the-blank-subject/verb agreement quiz from the City University of Hong Kong A verb should match its singularity or plural being in the right form.
If in doubt, there will inevitably be an alternative formulation that will make the answer obvious. Just go with that instead. So it really depends on your definition of “right.” If we are not interested in moral nuances of righteousness, I would say that it is “right” linguistically to be consistent with the prevailing use. On the grounds that language itself could not function as a means of communication if we normally did not respect that principle. If this is the first, I would suggest that the area is your subject and you should use it. By far, the style error I most often encounter as a writing teacher and editor is a subject/verb chord. As you already know, you need to be sure that mated subjects and verbs “go together” grammatically. What this usually means (especially if you write in contemporary form) is that if a subject is singular, its accompanying verb is added to an “s,” but if the subject is plural, the verb does not need “s” (i.e. “material age” and “material age” are both correct). It`s simple, isn`t it? Your ear confirms the subject/verb agreement for you.
For many writers, however, confusion arises when the subject and the verb are distanced in the sentence. Let us take this erroneous example: this is precisely what this specific example shows, which only appears in the last decades, but there are many other similar constructs that go back centuries, and in many levels of writing, and not just a casual language. Well-informed modern grammars therefore agree, the two forms are quite correct; go with what you feel flows best! With “a wide range of colors” and “a bunch of guys,” the meaning is clearly plural. But the collection set at the beginning (“a wide range of,” “a bunch of”) is unique in form. The editors of M-W conclude: “If you have a phrase of collecting oppus (a packet of) before a plural noun (boys), the meaning is normally plural and therefore the verb should be.” “A wide/wide range of” is the head game, with a scope as the head word. Plus, look at the letter “A.” As you mentioned in your description of the problem, head play is considered a whole and we simply have to use the singular form of the verb. Edition: As the comments on other responses show, the two versions are not always interchangeable; One can certainly find examples where one or the other is idiomatic. But in this particular example, both are quite correct, like the n-gram search above and a more in-depth search of similar lines.