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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Dancing and singing are really fun

    When a sentence has two gerunds, do you use plural verbs or singular verbs?
    If both are possible, then what is the standard?
    1.Dancing and singing are really fun.
    2.Dancing and singing is really fun

  2. #2
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    1.Dancing and singing are really fun.

  3. #3
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    When a sentence has two gerunds, do you use plural verbs or singular verbs?
    If both are possible, then what is the standard?
    1.Dancing and singing are really fun.
    2.Dancing and singing is really fun
    If you remove the actual gerunds and simply use the relevant pronoun for 2 things - "they" - then I'm sure you'll see that it should be "are".

    You wouldn't say "They is fun".

    It doesn't matter that they are gerunds or nouns or whatever. If thing 1 is [adjective] and thing 2 is [adjective] then the two things together "are" [adjective].

  4. #4
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    This rule only applies if you are talking about two seperate activities. Just as likely, you will be talking about two separate components of one compound activity, in which case, you use "is".

    "Lying in the shade and reading is fun." (You are not asserting that either activity by itself is fun).
    "Singing and playing the guitar is fun."
    "Going for a jog and listening to your mp3 player is fun."

    In fact, this structure is possibly more common than describing the fun value of two unrelated activities at the same time.

    By the way, I think that singing and dancing is fun, given the right atmosphere.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This rule only applies if you are talking about two seperate activities. Just as likely, you will be talking about two separate components of one compound activity, in which case, you use "is".

    "Lying in the shade and reading is fun." (You are not asserting that either activity by itself is fun).
    "Singing and playing the guitar is fun."
    "Going for a jog and listening to your mp3 player is fun."

    In fact, this structure is possibly more common than describing the fun value of two unrelated activities at the same time.

    By the way, I think that singing and dancing is fun, given the right atmosphere.
    I totally agree with you. I guess if two activities form one concept, it should be treated as singular, while two activities are separate from each other, then plural.
    1.Going to nursing home and helping elderly people is valuable.
    2.Helping elderly people and helping orphans are valuable.

    I think this is quite similar to collective noun's number decision.
    1. The jury is making the decision unanimously(same action)
    2. The jury are divided in different opinions.(different actions)

    But there seems to be a grey area like the following.
    * Going to nursing home to help old people and raising fund for poor kids (is, are) important for young people to realize how valuable such activities are.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This rule only applies if you are talking about two seperate activities. Just as likely, you will be talking about two separate components of one compound activity, in which case, you use "is".

    "Lying in the shade and reading is fun." (You are not asserting that either activity by itself is fun).
    "Singing and playing the guitar is fun."
    "Going for a jog and listening to your mp3 player is fun."

    In fact, this structure is possibly more common than describing the fun value of two unrelated activities at the same time.

    By the way, I think that singing and dancing is fun, given the right atmosphere.
    I agree. I should have been clearer that I meant when it is two unrelated things then it's plural (hence "Thing A is ..." and "Thing B is ...")

    I would make one comment on your examples above though. For Examples 1 and 3, I would say:

    "Lying in the shade reading is fun".
    "Going for a jog listening to music is fun".

    As you can see, I would omit the "and", thus making it clearer that I'm talking about two concurrent activities. Admittedly, that doesn't work with "Singing and playing the guitar".

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    Many of the buses round here have notices stating

    EATING AND DRINKING IS NOT PERMITTED ON THIS VEHICLE.

    I'm a bit ambivalent about that.

    You can see what the guy means, but he could have phrased it better.

    Rover

  8. #8
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    Re: Dancing and singing are really fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Many of the buses round here have notices stating

    EATING AND DRINKING IS NOT PERMITTED ON THIS VEHICLE.

    I'm a bit ambivalent about that.

    You can see what the guy means, but he could have phrased it better.

    Rover
    In my opinion, that should certainly be "are". Both things are not permitted, it doesn't matter if they're being done at the same time or not.

    If he'd stuck with "No eating or drinking permitted".

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