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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Is fun or are fun ?

    Running and throwing balls is fun.

    or ...

    Running and throwing balls are fun.

    Which is correct, and why ? Thanks in advance.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Throwing balls up in the air and catching them is fun. We are speaking of one activity.

    Running and throwing balls are fun
    . We are speaking of two different activities.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Thanks for your very prompt reply, 5jj. I thought both might have been possible. So, the issue is whether it's considered one or two activities. Thanks again.

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    #4

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maikeru View Post
    So, the issue is whether it's considered one or two activities.
    Yes, and that is sometimes something that that the speaker decides at the moment of speaking. For example, swimming and mountain-climbing are clearly two different activities, but running and throwing balls might be thought of by some children as one activity.

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    #5

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    I can see running and jumping as one thing. I can't see those two as one thing.
    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.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I can see running and jumping as one thing. I can't see those two as one thing.
    I agree that it's not very likely, which is why I used 'are' in my first response. However, I have seen children in twos and threes running around and passing/throwing a ball to each other. I think it's just about possible they might think of 'running and throwing balls' as one activity.

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    #7

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    I can see that I'll have to check the exact context in which the words were used tomorrow. A student wrote something like "I like sports because running and throwing balls are fun." Thanks again for your advice, and I'll get back to you when I know exactly what was written.

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    #8

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Because the original text refers to sports in general then "running and throwing balls are fun" feels more correct as many sports don't require both, so they are separate activities. However, "I like basketball because running and throwing balls is fun" seems fine.
    And I agree that "running and throwing balls might be thought of by some children as one activity", the activity being "playing". In the same way that catching a movie, having dinner afterwards and maybe hitting a club is fun, the activity being "going out".

    not a teacher

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    #9

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Right. Here's the original full sentence.

    I like P.E. because running and throwing balls is fun.

    or ...

    I like P.E. because running and throwing balls are fun.

    I know which way I'm leaning, in light of our discussion thus far, however, I'd very much like to hear from others.

    Is there an issue around the fact that not all P.E. activities involve either or both running and throwing balls ?

    Thanks again in advance. I look forward to your replies.

    *P.E. Physical Education

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    #10

    Re: Is fun or are fun ?

    Maikeru, I think this question has been answered. It depends on how the speaker subconsciously sees the activity/activities at the moment of speaking.

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