English is sometimes difficult to know and learn due to some grammar systems. They may be called misleading to sound least insulting and crazy to sound the right way. It is a combination of different phrases and words that may mean nothing to someone who does not know the phrase’s meaning. But interestingly, this phrase we speak and write did not come just like that. They all have an etymology and a story behind them.
There exist some phrases that have no meaning and follow no rules of the grammar of the language. Still, we use them and say them. If English is your mother tongue, you may find zero problems in saying and learning them. Still, people learning the language often find themselves struggling to learn such phrases.
And, lastly, English is not special in this category. Every language has phrases that curb grammar in its way. They result from long-spoken and long-used words and sentences that have left marks on today’s speaking and writing habits.
There exists some confusion between the two phrases, as people want to know which one is the correct use: ‘is as follows’ versus ‘are as follow. Even if it’s true that we use the plural version of the verb after a plural preposition (like ‘he does go to the church,’ which means the same as ‘he goes to the church’), the idea is not correct in this case. The correct use is ‘is/are as follows’ throughout the grammar, even with one or a hundred items written below. The word ‘follows’ does not change even if ‘are’ written before ‘as.’
What is a Phrase?
A phrase in English is a sentence or a part of the sentence that means something when used correctly. These are not meant to be used without the remainder of the sentence, or they would mean nothing. If you are from any English-speaking country, you already know them and use them. Children use them all the time but still fail to understand the logic behind them. In the US, different parts of the country speak English differently. As a result, phrases have developed everywhere that are frequently used while speaking.
However, there are some common phrases that people all over the world use.
Some common phrases are: once in a blue moon, pull over, cross paths, follow suit, etc. There are millions of phrases in this category, and you will find most of them in any dictionary or on the internet. Many of these lines mean nothing when said alone, and they mean exactly something else in reality. For example, ‘once in a blue moon means ‘very rarely.’ It’s got nothing to do with the moon!
‘is as follows’ and ‘are as follows.’
Sometimes, phrases can be misleading. Often, they do not mean anything, and sometimes, they hit us with their crazy grammar system. A similar example is this phrase: as follows.
‘as follows’ is a common phrase that is used all over the world in the English language. However, people still get stuck over deciding the correctness of the phrase when they use it. Therefore, it is always better to determine whether your article uses the wrong phrase to be extra cautious about these phrases.
We always omit the plural form of the verb when we use a plural preposition. But, the rule does not apply here. ‘is as follows’ is fine. ‘are as follows’ is fine. But ‘are as follows’ is NOT fine. Therefore, the word ‘follows’ will not change irrespective of the list of items written below.
- The list for the market is as follows: bread, butter, jam, eggs, milk
- The contents of the list are as follows: bread, butter, jam, eggs, milk
You can notice that the phrase remains as it is despite the contents being plural and singular. There is a single list in the first example, but the phrase is ‘as follows.’ In the second example, there are five items, but the phrase is the same. This shows how ‘this follows’ works and what is the correct way to use this phrase.
‘as follows’ meaning
The meaning of the phrase ‘as follows’ is similar to ‘listed below. The phrase is used before writing some entries in an enlisted form. Example: The rules of this game are as follows.
In the example, the phrase tells you that the rules of the game are written below. Here, the word ‘follow’ means ‘written or said afterward.’ Generally, we put a colon after the phrase and start writing the list below. The phrase is very much found in legal documents, formal letters, and academic books. The phrase is not spoken often, and it is mostly used informal atmosphere.
Synonyms of ‘as follows.’
If you do not want to use this phrase, there are alternatives for you. ‘as follows’ has different alternatives that can be used instead. However, the usage is mostly the same, and the alternate phrases are written just like this phrase.
- Listed/mentioned below: This is probably the easiest way to write the line. Simple and easy to understand. Example: The contents of the list are listed below.
- In this way: This phrase is suitable when you are writing a rule or a description. This is also simple and easy to understand. This phrase is not frequently found in formal documents but is often spoken. Example: The rules of the game go in this way.
- Thusly: Another alternative of ‘as follows.’ This word may not be common and famous, but it exists. The word acts the same way, and it may be used in formal documents. The word is rarely heard because it is uncommon and gives a very formal feeling. Example: The regulations of the company are notified thusly.
- Hereby: Another common word and a good alternative of the phrase. However, this word is used differently, as it is placed before the verb generally. This word is also used in formal documents, but it is also suitable for informal use. Example: The rules of the company are hereby notified.
- Like this: This can be used when you are describing something. This can also be an alternative to the phrase. ‘like this is used just like ‘as follows,’ but it is not suitable while writing rules or in any formal document. Example: The rules of the game go like this.
Here are some of the alternatives that best suit the phrase ‘as follows.’ However, there is a time when using a specific phrase is important because it may better understand the sentence.
Phrases in any language can be misleading because of their own grammar rules. It is very difficult to know the correct usage of such phrases, mainly because they do not obey the language rules. Some phrases also have words that have nothing to do with the real meaning. Hence, for any learner, a phrase is the toughest thing to learn and remember.
The good news is that mother tongue languages are not very difficult to deal with. Children who learn and grow up listening to English are not likely to get agitated with the phrase’s difference in grammar. This makes the phrases stand among the commonly used terms in any language.
In English, the phrase ‘as follows’ does not obey the basic rules of the plural forms. The phrase goes like is as follows and are as follows. There is no change in the word ‘follows’ even if there is ‘are’ in front of it. This may confuse English learners, so the best way to remember it is not to change the words’ as follows’.
Phrases generally have etymologies that explain how they have come to be in the language. For example, you may find the origin of a phrase on the internet. They may also help you remember the phrase better because you know the concept behind the phrase now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) Will writing a wrong phrase make a great impact on my article?
A: In most cases, they do! Writing a wrong phrase is a big problem if your ‘wrong phrase’ means something different. Some phrases are similar and differ by only one preposition (e.g., run-in and run-in). In such cases, you have to be careful and do a prior search.
Q2) Can a computer detect a wrong phrase usage and mark it in an article?
A: It depends on the phrase and how wrong you have written it. If that wrong phrase still has a meaning, the computer will probably not detect it. If the phrase written is wrong and has no valid meaning (e.g., are as follows), the computer may detect it and put a mark. However, you must not rely on computer programs to detect phrases. Instead, you can use online tools to help you. These tools (like Grammarly) have highly trained and modified algorithms to detect the wrong phrase usage. They are so powerful that they can even suggest better words and phrases, depending on the mood and subject your article is based on.