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Hello,

I am requesting advice on how best to phrase some pertinent negatives. Often I'll use the phrase "There is no evidence of...." to precede a list. For example, "There is no evidence of pneumothorax or displaced rib fracture."

However, I like to vary my phrasing so that not every sentence begins with "There is...."

For example, "No pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion is seen."

However, when I dictate this, it is often transcribed as:

"No pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion are seen."

Which form is correct? Or is neither correct?

Here would be a typical report:

CHEST - PA & LATERAL

CLINICAL INFORMATON: Pleuritic chest pain on the left. Rib #?

FINDINGS:

No priors available for comparison.

Both lungs are clear and the cardiomediastinal contour is within normal limits. There is no evidence of pneumothorax or displaced rib fracture; however, an undisplaced rib fracture cannot excluded on the basis of this study. No pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion is seen.

IMPRESSION:

Normal study.

Thanks,

D.W.
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Here is the rule on subject-verb agreement:
When a compound subject contains both a singular and a plural noun or pronoun joined by or or nor, the verb should agree with the part of the subject that is nearer the verb.

The boy or his friends run every day.
His friends or the boy runs every day.
THis one is correct:
No pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion is seen.
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You can avoid the difficulty (which makes native speakers uncomfortable - and if you are dictating with an accent, a native speaker who doesn't know the "rule" may assume you are wrong even if you aren't) by rephrasing it:

No pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion can be seen.

- or avoid the verb:

No visible pleural effusion or aggressive bone lesion(s)

K.S.
No/or - follows the same rule as neither /nor

When two singular nouns are joined by neither/nor, the ver is singular.

No plural effusion or aggressive bone lesion is seen.