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Hello!

1. Much time and money is spent on education, more on health services but the most is spent on national defense.

Shouldn't the verb "to be" in the above sentence be in the plural form since time and money are combined by "and".?

Or is it because the verb to be refers to "much" as one quantity for both?

Thank you!
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Comments  
I would choose plural.

I don't think you can use "much" to refer to an imaginary noun, i.e., "much [stuff]." I think it would have to be understood as "much time and much money," and therefore plural.

"Much" may serve as a noun (pronoun?), as in "Much is often made of the controversy surrounding his birth cirtificate," but I don't believe that's what's happening here. I guess you could make it parenthetical: "Much (time and money) is wasted on entertainment."

- A.
Thanks a lot!Emotion: smile
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The collocation "time and money" is quite commonly used, and I'd say it's no problem to view it as a single unit, particularly in combination with the word "much" and also becausethe word "much" was not repeated. To me, "much time and money is spent" could be compared to "much peanut butter and jelly is eaten". Emotion: smile
YankeeThe collocation "time and money" is quite commonly used, and I'd say it's no problem to view it as a single unit, particularly in combination with the word "much" and also because the word "much" was not repeated. To me, "much time and money is spent" could be compared to "much peanut butter and jelly is eaten".

Oh, thank you for your explanation!Emotion: smile
Sorry Uthman!

Thanks, Yankee!

Could you say a word or two about "collocation" as used here? I'm not happy with my definition, and usually think of it as synonymous with "colloquialism," except that I take the latter as "regional" and lower register. How does "collocation" fit into these issues, if at all?

- A.
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In this case, things that go so closely together that they are considered one thing. Bacon and eggs is my favorite breakfast. Macaroni and cheese is all my nephew will eat. After a lot of time and money was spent, the problem still wasn't solved.
So, to the extent that it determines singulars and plurals, it's a grammatical term rather than a contextual term? Is it something like a compound noun?

Does it apply exclusively to groups of nouns, eg., "Bacon, lettuce, and tomato" is a great sandwich. The Army, Navy and Air Force is a great American tradition. ??
Here is an excerpt about "notional agreement" from the AHD :
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.
I think a reference to an expenditure of "time and money" can be and often is viewed with this kind of sense of unity. In other words, "time and money" can be used as a single notional unit.

A further example of "time and money" used as a notional unit is in this quote from the Washington Post:

"Entirely too much time and money was spent in the effort to catch the guy."
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