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Hi guys,

I read the following rules on one of the grammar sites.. Just wanted to make sure that these are grammatically correct.So can we really use a singualar verb for compound subjects ??

thanks in advance, sharad.

Sometimes compound subjects are governed by a sense of unity and by notional agreement take a singular verb: My name and address is printed on the box. His colleague and friend (one person) deserves equal credit. This sense of unity is not simply a stylistic flourish. Using a singular or plural verb changes the meaning of the sentence. Eating garlic and drinking red wine sometimes gives me a headache means that the combination of garlic and red wine can cause a headache. With a plural verb (give), the sentence implies that garlic and red wine act separately; either can bring a headache.
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Hi Sharad,

The whole idea behind a compound subject is that the various elements of the compound are bound together as a single grammatical entity, just like Hydrogen and Oxygen combine to make water.
you say - hydrogen and oxygen are needed yo make water.

you don't say - hydrogen and oxgen are needed to is needed to make water
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A relevant question in this case.

The answer: Hydrogen and oxygen are needed to make water.

The reason: hydrogen and oxygen are separate elements and can be combined differently to make other compounds. Hydrogen and oxygen make water only when combined as H20. The chemical elements of hydrogen and oxygen are needed for many things, only one of which is to make water.

One might loosely say, perhaps in a specific context: two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen is water
The short answer is 'yes', Sharad.

Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite snack.
The salt and pepper is right next to you, fathead.

In your example 'his colleague and friend', and friend is not part of a compound subject, but has another grammatical name/function that slips my mind at the moment (probably 'restricitive appositive').
Hi MrM,

I can see the difference you've pointed out on the 'colleague and friend' example, but I'm wondering why such an example cannot be called a compound subject. Certainly 'colleague' and 'friend' don't refer to two people here, but they do refer to two separate identities (concepts, nomenclatures, functions?). What are the parameters for calling something a compound subject? Why are not two identities shared by one person considered a compound subject? (Maybe, I should re-read "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" with a new eye.) Does having a separate category here have ramifications for grammatical structure?
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Thanks Mister Micawber and davkett.. I think i need some time to get used to this usage..For I learnt a bit grammar, i sometimes start wondering if such usages are correct in first place.. Unfortunately, my limited grammar exposure often leaves me confused Emotion: smile ..
The more I think about it, Sharad, the more I want to conclude that, 'Hydrogen and oxygen is needed to make water' is also correct--perhaps even preferable in the right context.

Thank you for the question.

I invite master Mister Micawber to stay joined.