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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Are the following sentences natural?

    1. Vegetables and fruit are good for the body.
    2. Vegetables and fruit is good for the body.
    3. Bread and butter is my usual breakfast.
    4. Bread and butter are my usual breakfast.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    1 and 3, not 2 and 4.

    In 2, the verb does not agree in number with the subject.

    In 4, bread and butter is so common a phrase as to be considered an item. It is also an item because the butter goes on the bread. Therefore the multiple subject does not agree in number with the the predicate. Only if you can justify treating bread and butter as two items is 4 acceptable.

  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Are the following sentences natural?

    1. Vegetables and fruit are good for the body.
    2. Vegetables and fruit is good for the body.
    3. Bread and butter is my usual breakfast.
    4. Bread and butter are my usual breakfast.

    Thanks.
    I agree with Probus. Sometimes, what appears to be a plural subject is actually a singular unit.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Unless you gnaw on a loaf of bread in one hand and eat spoonfuls of plain butter with the other. Which does not seem likely.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    If chesse goes with bread, does it mean that I can say "Bread and chesse is my usual breakfast"?

    If I eat a loaf of bread first, next I eat a slice of chesse, can I say " "Bread and chesse are my usual breakfast"?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    tzfujimino is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    If chesse goes with bread, does it mean that I can say "Bread and chesse is my usual breakfast"?

    If I eat a loaf of bread first, next I eat a slice of chesse, can I say " "Bread and chesse are my usual breakfast"?

    Thanks.
    Hello, Winwin.
    I'm sure you meant "cheese".
    However, I've found "chesse" here. Interesting.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    The same rule applies. If "bread and cheese" is a commonly recognised combination of foods (it's fairly common), then treat it as singular. The more foods you put in, the more likely it is to be plural.

    Bread and butter is my favourite breakfast.
    Bread and cheese is my favourite afternoon snack.
    Bread, cheese and ham are my favourite things to have for dinner.

    I should point out that I find the word order you chose quite unnatural as far as the breakfast example goes. I would normally say "My favourite breakfast is ..." - regardless of how many different foods you list, it's still "is" after "My favourite breakfast".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The same rule applies. If "bread and cheese" is a commonly recognised combination of foods (it's fairly common), then treat it as singular. The more foods you put in, the more likely it is to be plural.
    Thanks ems.

    What does "The more foods you put in, the more likely it is to be plural." mean? Would be obligied if you could explain it!
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Oct-2013 at 10:33. Reason: Fixed html so the quote works properly

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bread and butter is/are my usual breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks ems.

    What does "The more foods you put in, the more likely it is to be plural." mean? Would be obligied if you could explain it!
    That's what my example showed. In the "bread and butter" and "bread and cheese" examples, there are only two foods involved in each case. However, in my third example, I gave "bread, cheese and ham" - that's three foods and that then led to "are", not "is". We don't usually consider three or more foods together to be a single item. Classic "two-food" phrases which can be counted as a single phrase in the UK are:

    Fish and chips
    Burger and fries
    Bacon and eggs
    Steak and chips
    Gin and tonic
    Rum and coke
    Ham and eggs
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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