The subject of a sentence is a person, place, thing or idea that is doing or being something. When a sentence has two or more subjects, it’s call a compound subject.
Compound Subjects Joined by ‘And’ or ‘Both…And’
These types of compound subjects are treated as plural and take a plural verb:
- Dolphins and elephants are highly intelligent creatures.
- Eating, sleeping and reading are enjoyable activities.
- Both men and women can enjoy yoga.
- Chocolate and strawberry are my two favorite flavors of ice cream.
- Furniture and paper are two uses for wood.
- Roses, gardenias and jonquils are beautiful flowers.
- Both Tom and I are going on a cruise.
- Nobody who went and nobody who watched on line liked the presentation.
- Toy Story and Cars are movies created by Pixar.
- Tsunamis and hurricanes endanger people living near the coast.
- Both the players and coaches were satisfied with the game.
- Everybody who witnessed the shooting and everybody in the room were interviewed.
- Red, white and blue are the colors of the American flag.
- Both Argentina and Brazil are in South America.
- Anyone who has seen the movie and anybody who has read the book agrees the storyline is interesting.
Compound Subjects Jointed by ‘Or,’ ‘Either…Or,’ or ‘Neither…nor’
In these cases, the verb agrees with the subject that is closest to the verb:
- Neither the president nor her assistant has replied to the accusation.
- Mom or Sharon will bring the dessert.
- Either you or your friend needs to tell me what happened.
- Neither the toy by the door or the shoes in the living room need to be put away.
- The sofa or the chair will have to be moved to the den.
- Neither yellow nor red will match that comforter.
- Baked goods or fried foods are not healthy for you.
- Either all of us go or none of us go.
- Neither the basement nor the bedroom has been vacuumed.
- Players on the team or the coach has the attitude to win.
- Either turkey or chicken will be served at the reception.
- Hot soup or crackers will help you feel better.
- The florist or I will bring you flowers tomorrow.
- Abby or Lionel will attend the meeting and report back.
- Either the monkeys or the giraffes will get a new habitat at the zoo.
More Sentences Using Compound Subjects
- Potato chips and cupcakes are bad for you.
- Uncle Jim, Aunt Sue and my cousin Jake went to Jamaica on vacation.
- Beth and Kendra read very slowly.
- The boots by the door and the flip-flops in the living room need to be put away.
- Neither the boots by the door nor the flip-flops in the living room will be here any more if you don’t put them away.
- Neither a tall man nor a short man lives in that house.
- Neither wind nor rain nor sleet nor hail can stop the U.S. Postal Service from delivering the mail.
- Neither the rugs downstairs nor the carpet upstairs has been vacuumed.
- Either you or your brother is going to be punished.
- Either the chicken or the beef in the freezer needs to be thawed for dinner tonight.
- Either the matches or the candles caused the fire.
- Either a rat or the gerbil keeps chewing up all my socks!
- Everything on the bed and everything in the closet was organized in under an hour.
- Nobody in the bank and nobody in the store saw the accident.
- Anyone soccer team and anybody on the basketball team is eligible for the scholarship.
Compound Subjects in Quotes
- “Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
- “It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson
- “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Either war is obsolete, or men are.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
- “Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.” – Joel Osteen
Now that you have seen these compound subject examples, check out these 15 Sentences Using Compound Subjects and Compound Verbs.