Cover Page ofThe Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
Table of ContentsWriting TimelineHelpCredits

Section 6.8.1.1

Two or More Nouns

If your subject consists of two or more nouns, you need to pay special attention to subject-verb agreement. If the nouns are connected bythe coordinating conjunction and, use aplural verb.


Unacceptable

Although accidents and congestion results from drivingitself rather than from fuel use, much of urban air pollution, greenhouse gasemissions, and the economic burden of oil imports can all be tied directly tofuel consumption.

Acceptable

Although accidents and congestion result from drivingitself rather than from fuel use, much of urban air pollution, greenhouse gasemissions, and the economic burden of oil imports can all be tied directly tofuel consumption.

--"Improving Automotive Efficiency," Scientific American(modified)


However, if the nouns connected by the coordinating conjunction and aregenerally thought of as one item, use a singular verb.


Unacceptable

Macaroni and cheese are easy to make.

Acceptable

Macaroni and cheese is easy to make.


If the nouns are connected by the coordinating conjunction or, use averb that agrees with the nearer noun.


Unacceptable

Your advisor or your course instructor are required tosign the form.

Acceptable

Your advisor or your course instructor is required tosign the form.


If the nouns are connected by the correlativeconjunction both . . . and, use a plural verb.


Unacceptable

Both your advisor and your course instructor is requiredto sign the form.

Acceptable

Both your advisor and your course instructor arerequired to sign the form.


If the nouns are connected by the correlative conjunctionseither . . . or, neither . . . nor,not only . . . but also, use a verb that agrees with thenearer noun.


Unacceptable

Either your course instructor or three fellow students who knowyour ability is required to sign the form.

Either three fellow students who know your ability or your courseinstructor are required to sign the form.

Acceptable

Either your course instructor or three fellow students who knowyour ability are required to sign the form.

Either three fellow students who know your ability or your courseinstructor is required to sign the form.


Reference Link Text
## Two or More Nouns ##
Reference Link Text

[ Home | Table of Contents| Writing Timeline | Index |Help | Credits]

Copyright ©2001 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. McGraw-Hill Higher Education is one of the many fine businesses of
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
.
Corporate Link