Southern Grammar: Grits

A debate has raged–yes, raged–on my husband’s side of the family for years. Each time we sit down to breakfast, there is a debate about the word “grits.”

My father-in-law says, “This grits is good.”

My mother-in-law says, “These grits are good.”

Then, they ask me to settle the dispute since I worked as an editor. Aside from the fact that they are asking me to get in the middle of their argument, there’s one other problem. I have Northern parents. We didn’t eat grits. I don’t like grits.

To me, grits is/are gross.

Long story short: I didn’t know, so I looked it up.

Choose the correct verb tense: Grits is/are good. Singular or plural?

The answer is BOTH.

Grits can be used with either a singular or plural verb!

Want proof? Here’s a screen shot from

MW Grits


Not satisfied? agrees:

Dictionary Grits
grits. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: April 19, 2015).

So my in-laws are both right.

This grits is good, and these grits are also good.

Alas, to me, grits still is/are gross.

4 thoughts on “Southern Grammar: Grits

  1. I don’t care for grits, either; however, I do think the plural form of the verb to be (are) does sound better for most usages. (I am a New Englander.)

  2. I figure I have to say “is/are.” That way I please or anger both the in-laws equally.

  3. While I love grammar discussions, when it comes to grits just shut up and eat. Hmm, hmm, good!

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