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 Merriam-Webster.com:
Not satisfied? Dictionary.com agrees:
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.
I’m sure they’d both agree it is incorrect, when ordering at a restaurant, to say, “Bring me a grit.”
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.)
I figure I have to say “is/are.” That way I please or anger both the in-laws equally.
While I love grammar discussions, when it comes to grits just shut up and eat. Hmm, hmm, good!