Should it be have or has?

What started as mostly peaceful rallies have turned increasingly violent, with Monday seeing some of the worst violence in the former British colony in decades after a protester was shot at close range and a man was set on fire.

Should it be “has” instead? If not, what is the reason?



I agree, ‘has’ would be the better choice here. Let’s see what @Alan, @Anglophile and @Andrea think.


What started as mostly peaceful rallies have turned increasingly violent…

I would keep it as “have” because “rallies” is plural.

If I used “rally” then I would use “has” in the sentence.

What started mostly as a peaceful rally has turned increasingly violent…


Good morning Andrea, thank you so much for your quick response. Your input and support are greatly valueable to our learner community. :+1::grin:


Morning Torsten, it’s an absolute pleasure. Have a great day! :wink::+1:


While I agree with Kohyoongliat and Torsten for the use of has, I differ with Andrea for the following reasons:

  1. What started means ‘that situation which started’ so it is singular.
  2. In an affidavit one deposes many things and says in the end ‘What ‘has’ been/‘is’ stated herein ‘is’ true to the best of my information, knowledge and belief’. meaning what as singular.
  3. What was concluded by the jury at the end ‘is’ as follows. meaning what as singular.
  4. What they say quoting their own examples in defence of their contentions ‘is’ not legally maintainable. meaning what as singular

So, What started as mostly peaceful rallies has turned increasingly violent … . should be correct.