When to use "are or is" and "have or has."

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When to use "are or is" and "have or has."

Post by NewWater » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:05 am

Hi, I'm trying to understand when to use "are or is" and "have or has."

I've been reading grammar books to improve my writing issues.

On MS Word I typed these 2 sentences:

1) Scoring and dribbling is important.

2) Scoring, dribbling, and assisting is important.

The first sentence was error free. But MS Word is telling me I should use are instead of is with the second sentence. Is there a rule that if you use 3 verbs you have to use are instead of is?

Also can someone supply a tip or suggest a source that would help me with these specific writing issues?

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Re: When to use "are or is" and "have or has."

Post by Joe » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:25 am

It all depends on how you subjectively "view" the subjects. If you view them as a single item, you can use "is" (singular).

Bread and butter is my favourite food.

If you view them as separate items, you use "are" (plural):

Bread and rice are not expensive.

For your examples I don't think MS Word is intelligent enough to know what you are thinking. And nor am I. I'm guessing you're talking about football, though I'm not sure. And while I suppose that scoring and dribbling are important activities in football, I'm not sure that they go together. So I would probably prefer:

Scoring and dribbling are important.

Same for #2:

Scoring, dribbling, and assisting are important.

Trying to find a sports example that might be considered singular - because you view it as "one" - I come up with:

Warm up and stretching is important.

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