In each of these sentences, the compound subjects are underlined.
The catand the mouse ran around the room.
Neither the cat nor the mouse heard him.
Both the youngsters and the adults enjoyed square dancing.
Here are two important rules when working with compound subjects. You
will be introduced to several other rules on another page.
➲ Rule #1: Singular subjects joined by and usually agree in number with a
This plant and a large tree were in the photo.
The older boy and his companion have the boxes of fruit.
His dad and my brother are on the same work crew.
➲ Rule #2: Compound subjects that have a single entity agree in number
with a singular verb.
Bacon, lettuce, and tomato is Mitt’s tastiest sandwich. (Bacon, lettuce,
and tomato are a single entity here.)
Chutes and Ladders was Ricky’s favorite game. (Chutes and Ladders is a
game—a single entity.)
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren is a good book to read if
you are interested in politics. (Though the book’s title features a
plural noun, men, the title is considered a single entity. Thus, the
verb is should be used.)