Verb agreement gets tricky when it comes to compound subjects. Lucky for you, then, we\u2019ve prepared this guide to help you avoid grammatical errors. Check out our advice on the different types of compound subject to find out how to use them in your writing.\nSubject\u2013Verb Agreement and Compound Subjects\nThe subject in a sentence is typically the thing or person acting. In the following, for example, the subject is \u201ccat,\u201d since the cat is the thing performing the action. And because there\u2019s only one cat, we use the singular verb \u201cis\u201d so that the verb and subject agree:\nThe cat is teasing the dogs.\nIf the subject were plural, however, we would use a plural verb instead:\nThe dogs are chasing the cat.\nBut what about a compound subject? In simple terms, this is a subject formed when we join two things with one of the conjunctions \u201cand,\u201d \u201cor,\u201d or \u201cnor.\u201d But whether we use a singular or plural verb with a compound subject depends on which conjunction we use.\n\n[caption id="attachment_12808" align="aligncenter" width="375"] Canine\u2013feline harmony is a beautiful thing.[\/caption]\nCompound Subjects Formed with \u201cAnd\u201d\nYou should almost always use a plural verb when you have formed a compound subject using \u201cand.\u201d For example:\nThe dogs and the cat are running around in circles.\nAs the sentence above shows, we even use a plural verb after a singular noun. This is because \u201cthe dogs and the cat\u201d is treated as plural.\nCompound Subjects Formed with \u201cOr\u201d and \u201cNor\u201d\nWhen you form a compound subject using \u201cor\u201d or \u201cnor,\u201d the correct verb form depends on the term closest to the verb. When this is a singular noun, we use a singular verb. For instance:\nEither the dogs or the cat is going to end up at the vet.\nBut when the term closest to the verb is a plural noun, we use a plural verb:\nNeither the cat nor the dogs are innocent in this situation.\nAs such, the order of the nouns in a compound subject can be important.\nSingular Compound Subjects\nThere are some special cases where we treat compound subjects formed with the conjunction \u201cand\u201d as singular. This is usually when two things are typically seen together. For instance:\nGin and tonic is my favorite drink.\nFish and chips is a traditional British dish.\nIn these cases, we use the singular verb \u201cis\u201d because \u201cgin and tonic\u201d and \u201cfish and chips\u201d are usually treated as a single thing (i.e., the terms are usually used together). Thus, if we used plural verbs in the sentences above, it would seem like we were discussing two separate things.\n\n[caption id="attachment_12806" align="aligncenter" width="398"] We're suddenly very thirsty.[\/caption]\n\nCheck online if you\u2019re not sure whether a phrase is singular or plural. And don\u2019t forget to have your work proofread so you can ensure it\u2019s error free.