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Thread: Help1

  1. #1
    edmondjanet is offline Member
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    Default Help1

    Dear sir,
    I am in a sad plight. Once I had raised one question which is,
    Bread and Butter “is” delicious.
    Butter and Milk “is” delicious. Here in India We are being taught “is” is correct.
    this Once I had raised the question to the forum and I got the answer “are” is the correct.
    The thing is here in one private institute, I am teaching Spoken English for the little children. Today I taught my students, Butter and Milk “are” delicious. Somehow Management knew this and scolded me left and right. They told me “is” is the correct and “are” is the wrong. I have been asked the explanation for this, otherwise I may lose my job. Sir, kindly give me a prolonged answer for this.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    "Butter and milk are delicious" is correct, just as 1+1=2 is correct. The subject is plural, so the verb must be plural. You could say that "a snack of bread and milk is delicious," but here you have a singular subject (snack.)

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    What if it's emphasizing the combination, like "macaroni and cheese" or "peanut butter and jelly?"

    One of my favorite foods is macaroni and cheese.

  4. #4
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    What if it's emphasizing the combination, like "macaroni and cheese" or "peanut butter and jelly?"

    One of my favorite foods is macaroni and cheese.
    Yes, I agree that this is fine. I just haven't heard of the combination of "butter and milk," but I feel that "bread and butter" can take a singular verb.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help1

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Yes, I agree that this is fine. I just haven't heard of the combination of "butter and milk," but I feel that "bread and butter" can take a singular verb.
    I agree "bread and butter" is singular, it's a standard combination like "bread and cheese" etc. "Butter" and "milk", however, are two different items which don't habitually go together, they take the plural "are".

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    Quote Originally Posted by edmondjanet View Post
    Dear sir,
    I am in a sad plight. Once I had raised one question which is,
    Bread and Butter “is” delicious.
    Butter and Milk “is” delicious. Here in India We are being taught “is” is correct.
    this Once I had raised the question to the forum and I got the answer “are” is the correct.
    The thing is here in one private institute, I am teaching Spoken English for the little children. Today I taught my students, Butter and Milk “are” delicious. Somehow Management knew this and scolded me left and right. They told me “is” is the correct and “are” is the wrong. I have been asked the explanation for this, otherwise I may lose my job. Sir, kindly give me a prolonged answer for this.
    Thank you.

    ***** A NON-TEACHER's OPINION *****


    (1) I am so sad to hear that your job is in danger, for I am sure

    that you are an excellent and hard-working teacher.

    (2) I have checked my books and I am delighted to give you some

    information that you might use when you speak with the principal/

    headmaster. (Be sure to mention the name of the book. Maybe s/he

    will be impressed if you name an authority.)

    (3) From: Longman English Grammar by Mr. L.G. Alexander. (I understand

    that this gentleman was highly respected in many countries). Page 49 of

    my 1988 edition says that, yes, "is" is often used for things that go

    together:

    bacon and eggs/ cheese and wine/ fish and chips/ lemon and oil/ tripe and onions, etc.

    Tell the principal that you understand that such combinations require

    "is" because they refer to a popular combination. Then tell him/her that

    Mr. Alexander says that the "correct" verb can sometimes depend on

    what the speaker is thinking. Mr. Alexander says we usually say:

    Fish and chips is a popular meal in Britain.

    BUT if you think of those items as "separate," then a plural verb is

    fine: Fish and chips make a good meal.

    Explain to the principal that you said "Bread and milk are delicious" because

    you were thinking of them as separate items. Maybe you were

    thinking of a sentence such as:

    Bread and milk are delicious, but they should not be eaten in

    very large quantities.

    Tell the principal that, of course, you know that if the children

    receive a meal of bread and milk every day, then you would

    use "is": The children say that bread and milk every day is such

    a boring dish/meal.

    Of course, the principal does not know what you are thinking, so

    maybe he will say, "Oh, I am sorry. You are an excellent teacher."

    (4) Also give him this example:

    (a) Her loyalty and patriotism was unparalleled in the history of

    her people./ Her loyalty and [her] patriotism were unparalleled in the

    history of her people.

    (i) Those sentences come from Perrin's Index to English (Sixth edition,

    p. 25). That book says the writer of the first sentence thinks of

    loyalty and patriotism as a unit; the second writer thinks of loyalty and

    patriotism as separate things. (Tell the principal -- again -- that you

    used "are" because you were thinking of "bread" and "milk" as separate

    things. Tell the principal that you, of course, know that "is" is used

    when referring to a popular combination. For example: apple pie and

    and cheese is my favorite dessert. Tell the principal that

    you, of course, know that the singular verb

    is used when you are thinking of something as a unit. For example,

    Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (1995) says a singular

    verb is used when "two nouns are used together so often that

    we think of them as a single unit." His example:

    "This gin and tonic is not very strong, is it?"

    Repeat (again) to the principal that:

    (a) You said "Bread and milk are" because you did not think that those

    two things go together so often.

    (b) You will be happy to teach the children "bread and milk is"

    if the school considers those two things as a unit. That is, two

    items that are served together every day as a meal.

    (c) You want to be the best teacher possible, and that if two

    items are considered separate items, then "are" is the correct

    verb to teach the children.

    (5) Please let us know what your principal said. I hope that you will be

    able to teach there for as long as you wish.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Help1

    Was there a wider context for the sentence?

  8. #8
    edmondjanet is offline Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** A NON-TEACHER's OPINION *****


    (1) I am so sad to hear that your job is in danger, for I am sure

    that you are an excellent and hard-working teacher.

    (2) I have checked my books and I am delighted to give you some

    information that you might use when you speak with the principal/

    headmaster. (Be sure to mention the name of the book. Maybe s/he

    will be impressed if you name an authority.)

    (3) From: Longman English Grammar by Mr. L.G. Alexander. (I understand

    that this gentleman was highly respected in many countries). Page 49 of

    my 1988 edition says that, yes, "is" is often used for things that go

    together:

    bacon and eggs/ cheese and wine/ fish and chips/ lemon and oil/ tripe and onions, etc.

    Tell the principal that you understand that such combinations require

    "is" because they refer to a popular combination. Then tell him/her that

    Mr. Alexander says that the "correct" verb can sometimes depend on

    what the speaker is thinking. Mr. Alexander says we usually say:

    Fish and chips is a popular meal in Britain.

    BUT if you think of those items as "separate," then a plural verb is

    fine: Fish and chips make a good meal.

    Explain to the principal that you said "Bread and milk are delicious" because

    you were thinking of them as separate items. Maybe you were

    thinking of a sentence such as:

    Bread and milk are delicious, but they should not be eaten in

    very large quantities.

    Tell the principal that, of course, you know that if the children

    receive a meal of bread and milk every day, then you would

    use "is": The children say that bread and milk every day is such

    a boring dish/meal.

    Of course, the principal does not know what you are thinking, so

    maybe he will say, "Oh, I am sorry. You are an excellent teacher."

    (4) Also give him this example:

    (a) Her loyalty and patriotism was unparalleled in the history of

    her people./ Her loyalty and [her] patriotism were unparalleled in the

    history of her people.

    (i) Those sentences come from Perrin's Index to English (Sixth edition,

    p. 25). That book says the writer of the first sentence thinks of

    loyalty and patriotism as a unit; the second writer thinks of loyalty and

    patriotism as separate things. (Tell the principal -- again -- that you

    used "are" because you were thinking of "bread" and "milk" as separate

    things. Tell the principal that you, of course, know that "is" is used

    when referring to a popular combination. For example: apple pie and

    and cheese is my favorite dessert. Tell the principal that

    you, of course, know that the singular verb

    is used when you are thinking of something as a unit. For example,

    Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (1995) says a singular

    verb is used when "two nouns are used together so often that

    we think of them as a single unit." His example:

    "This gin and tonic is not very strong, is it?"

    Repeat (again) to the principal that:

    (a) You said "Bread and milk are" because you did not think that those

    two things go together so often.

    (b) You will be happy to teach the children "bread and milk is"

    if the school considers those two things as a unit. That is, two

    items that are served together every day as a meal.

    (c) You want to be the best teacher possible, and that if two

    items are considered separate items, then "are" is the correct

    verb to teach the children.

    (5) Please let us know what your principal said. I hope that you will be

    able to teach there for as long as you wish.


    Respectfully yours,


    James
    Dear sir,
    By God's grace I am fine. My Management refuses to hear me. They are not ready to hear what is my explanation. They are saying they are right. Anyhow they allowed me to continue my teaching but I may be transfered to another branch. Anyhow I did not lose my job. I thank to each and everyone who made a guidence to solve this my sad plight.
    Thank you so much
    Edmond

  9. #9
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Help1

    Your management demands an explanation from you, and then refuses to hear it?

    I hope you are looking for new management.

  10. #10
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help1

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Your management demands an explanation from you, and then refuses to hear it?

    I hope you are looking for new management.
    Management in education in India is, unfortunately, still very conservative and authoritarian. Unemployment is very high in India and it's difficult to find good posts.

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